Judge Jon Tigar: Discovery in Civil Cases: Is the American Model broken? Should America be more like Germany?


Amerika Haus e.V. // München

American civil discovery gives the parties and their lawyers wide latitude in seeking documents, deposition testimony, and other evidence. Unlike Continental judicial systems, or even other common law countries, there is very little judicial supervision of civil discovery in America. Recently, however, some commentators have concluded that the American civil discovery system is broken. They believe that discovery has become too expensive and time-consuming, sometimes costing more than the value of the case and dragging the case on for years. Parties now settle cases just to avoid high discovery costs, or leave the public justice system altogether and hire a private neutral. Judge Tigar will look at some recent proposals to reform American civil discovery by limiting discovery and giving judges much more authority over the discovery process. Is American litigation becoming more German?