Natalie Reid is a partner in the International Disputes Group at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she focuses on international arbitration, public international law, and complex litigation matters. She regularly advises and represents multinational corporations, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations in U.S. courts and international fora, and acts as counsel in commercial and treaty arbitrations.
OGEMID Guest Topic (June 2017)
The rules governing discovery in the United States have often been described as enabling parties to go on "fishing expeditions" to extract an overbroad range of evidence from their adversaries. But recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) reflect an effort to limit the scope of discovery based on the principle of reasonableness, which now figures more prominently in the FRCP, and is defined with reference to six specific factors for courts and parties to consider.
Using "reasonableness" as a touchstone for document disclosure will of course be familiar to international arbitrators and practitioners. Yet there is scant guidance on how this standard is (to be) applied when disclosure disputes arise in arbitration. Could the recent amendments to the U.S. discovery rules suggest further refinements to international practice?