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34 Rev. Litig. 641 (2015)
The AALS Litigation Section's Program on the Future of Discovery

handle is hein.journals/rol34 and id is 667 raw text is: 

      Introduction: The AALS Litigation Section's
          Program on The Future of Discovery

                      Ronald G. Aronovsky*

       I am delighted to write this Introduction to a fine collection
of papers about discovery appearing in this issue of the Review of
Litigation. These papers were generated in connection with the
Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Litigation
program on The Future of Discovery held at the 2015 AALS
Annual Meeting.
       In many respects, discovery is the lynch-pin of modem U.S.
civil litigation systems. Discovery can facilitate a streamlined role
for pleading, provide the opportunity for reducing informational
asymmetry    between    parties,  enhance   informed    settlement
negotiations, and set the stage for the pre-trial disposition of weak
claims or defenses through summary judgment.
       But discovery is also controversial. Some maintain that
broad and robust discovery is essential to ensure meaningful access
to justice and the resolution of disputes on their merits. Others
criticize current discovery practice as a hyper-technical and
needlessly intrusive, time-consuming, and expensive process that
inflates transaction costs and undermines Rule 1 's command that the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) be administered to secure
the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding.' In many ways, these disputes about the proper role of
discovery reflect underlying disagreements about the appropriate
structure of the civil litigation system and can operate as a surrogate
battlefield regarding the availability of courts to vindicate or
elucidate public law rights. These tensions also demonstrate that a
meaningful discussion about the future of discovery cannot be
conducted in isolation, but rather with a healthy regard for
discovery's potential impact on broader dispute resolution values
implicit in this debate.
       For decades, these competing views have dominated much of
the discussion about discovery among practitioners, judges and
academics, particularly when coincident with proposed changes to

    *  Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School. J.D., 1980, University of
California, Berkeley. A.B., 1977, University of California, Berkeley. The author
served as the 2009 Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS)
Section on Litigation and the 2012 Chair of the AALS Section on Alternative
Dispute Resolution.
    1. FED. R. CIv. P. 1.

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