Discovery Proportionality Programs

Hello “Proportionality,” Goodbye “Reasonably Calculated”:  Reinventing Case Management and Discovery Under the 2015 Civil Rules Amendments

The Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation are co-sponsoring a bench-bar, three-hour educational program on the new discovery proportionality amendments, taking effect on December 1, 2015. The interactive-dialogue program is intended to bring together the bench and bar to discuss how the new amendments will be implemented. Thirteen programs will be held in major cities across the U.S., generally in federal courthouses, beginning in November 2015, inviting judges, their law clerks, and practitioners. 

Each three-hour program will feature intensive exploration of the amendments to Fed. R. Civ. P. 16, 26, and 37 ─ the most significant changes to discovery and case-management practices in more than a decade.  Judge Lee Rosenthal, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas and former chair of both the Civil Rules Committee and the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, and Steven Gensler, former Civil Rules Committee member and Professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Law, will briefly explain the amendments, their genesis, and their implications for civil litigation.  Judge Rosenthal and Professor Gensler will then moderate two panel discussions among local district court judges, magistrate judges, leading litigators, and all others attending the program about the amendments’ practical discovery implications and best practices for case management under the amended Rules.  The program is designed to be highly interactive and will provide opportunities to all attending to exchange their views on how best to implement the new amendments. 

After discussion of the amendments’ application to a variety of hypothetical cases, attendees will leave with a toolbox of techniques for putting the amendments into practice.  The goal:  to further the understanding of the amendments and the use of various case-management techniques that will help courts and litigants realize the amendments’ full potential to make discovery more targeted, less expensive, and more effective in achieving justice.

Attendance at the programs will be free for federal judges and their law clerks; others may register for $100 (general public), $60 (Duke Law School alumni and members of the ABA Section of Litigation), or $25 (government or public-service lawyers).  CLE credit will be applied for. 

Program Schedule as of May 9, 2016





8:30 AM

Boston, MA (D. Ma. Courthouse)


2:00 PM

Detroit, MI (E.D. Mi. Courthouse)


If you have any questions about the program, please contact John Rabiej (, Michele Hangley (, or Beth Kaufman (