Effective January 1, 2013, the Court of Chancery will amend its Rules regarding discovery.  According to the Court of Chancery’s Press Release issued December 4, 2012, Rules 26, 30, 34 and 45 will be amended to account for “modern discovery demands and will bring the Court’s rules in line with current practice.” Specifically, the amendments refer to discovery of “electronically stored information” (“ESI”) in addition to “documents” and “tangible things,” and explain how parties should respond to requests for ESI. These changes track recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  

Several highlights to these amendments are as follows:

  • Rule 26(c) was revised to clarify that an out-of-state non-party from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the state of Delaware.   
  • Rule 34(d) was added to allow a party to request the form in which documents or ESI are to be produced, and also provides a responding party with the right to object to such request. 
  • Rule 45 was amended to provide that a party responding to a subpoena need not produce documents or ESI in more than one form, nor need to produce documents or ESI that such party identifies as being not reasonably accessible due to undue burden or cost.

Click here to view the amended rules. This blog will track the Court of Chancery’s interpretation and application of these amended rules moving forward.