Emory Law Journal


The recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were the most controversial in decades. Many feared that the amendments would undermine the simplified, merits-driven approach that the original drafters of the Federal Rules envisioned and would weaken access to justice and the enforcement of substantive rights and obligations. This Article argues that the amendments do not mandate a more restrictive approach to pleading or discovery. The final amendments¿in light of their text, structure, and advisory committee notes¿should be interpreted to preserve notice pleading and a robust discovery process. The more significant lesson of the 2015 amendments, therefore, may be to confirm that the amendment mechanism is unlikely to generate consequential changes to the Federal Rules. Accordingly, the key battleground following the 2015 amendments will be in the federal courts themselves, as judges are called upon to interpret and apply the rules in particular cases.