In what might be a harbinger for other federal courts, The Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Program (MIDP) is being tested by some federal judges in the Northern District of Illinois and the Arizona District Court. The United States Judicial Conference approved the program last fall. The program requires mandatory, expedited disclosure and production of most relevant information before parties may engage in their own discovery.
In short, the MIDP requires parties to serve initial discovery responses 30 days after an answer is filed and produce all relevant documents and electronically stored information (ESI) 40 days after that.
The Judicial Conference approved the MIDP to determine whether mandatory early disclosure of key information reduces litigation costs and encourages dispute resolution. The hope is that mandating discovery of information at the beginning of a case will better position parties to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their claims before incurring significant litigation costs.
For more information about the MIDP and its deadlines take a look at the infographic below or, for a more detailed look, check out this article about the MIDP.