U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier signed an order governing the discovery of experts in the BP multi-district litigation (MDL) at the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The order retroactively amends provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(4)(B) and 26(b)(4)(C) to the date of the oil spill, April 20.
The new provisions eliminate the need for counsel to save draft reports and make them available for opposing counsel and will take effect for all federal court litigation and took effect on Dec. 1.
Under the new provisions, only finished expert reports will be deemed discoverable. The pre-trial order states this will apply retroactively to all oil spill claims "irrespective of when the action or claim in question was originally filed."
The order also states, "any fees charged by an expert for responding to discovery, including time spent at depositions, shall be paid by the party who has retained the expert."
Federal MDL 2:10-md-2179