New Civil Discovery Rules Effective January 1, 2020

The Michigan Supreme Court recently adopted comprehensive amendments to Michigan’s civil discovery rules. These rules were developed by the State Bar of Michigan’s Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee. The rules had not been holistically revised in 35 years, and these amendments represent a significant change in pretrial civil litigation procedures, with the goal of making discovery more efficient and less burdensome, increasing everyone’s access to our courts to resolve their civil legal dispute in a cost-effective manner.

This package of rule changes represents the most comprehensive effort to improve civil discovery rules in at least a generation. The Court is grateful to the State Bar for its hard work to update and streamline discovery, to make it more efficient and effective for the public.” – Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack

The New Civil Discovery Rules will be effective on January 1, 2020. To prepare practitioners for this change, the State Bar of Michigan is posting educational resources and events.


The New Civil Discovery Rules

By Daniel D. Quick

Michigan Bar Journal—September 2019


Civil Discovery Guidebook
Coming in September

The State Bar of Michigan is excited to be partnering with the ACEDS Detroit, Dickinson Wright, and Warner Norcross to provide a free guidebook on the new civil discovery rules, including analysis and practice tips. This guidebook will help ensure that all practitioners have the resources they need to be ready for the new discovery rules on January 1, 2020.


Civil Discovery On-Demand Webinar
Coming in October

The State Bar of Michigan is proud to be partnering with ICLE to provide a free 3-part webinar on the new civil discovery rules, featuring Judge Christopher Yates and Daniel Quick, two members of our Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee. In addition to this three-part series, ICLE will be providing various opportunities to learn about the new civil discovery court rule. Please click here to see a listing of other resources available through ICLE.


Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Special Committee Final Report

This report was submitted to the Michigan Supreme Court, along with the State Bar of Michigan’s rule proposal. This report explains the purpose and goals underlying many of the rule amendments.


Background Materials

Below are resources to gain a better understanding of discovery concepts borrowed from the federal rules and the problems with the discovery process under the old rules:


Calendar of Events

New Civil Discovery Rules

August 26, 2019, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

Michigan Judicial Institute

Hall of Justice, 925 Ottawa St, Lansing

For judges with a civil docket only.

The Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI) will be offering a seminar and webinar on the new discovery rules for all judges handling a civil docket. This seminar will highlight the important changes to the civil discovery rules and offer practical advice for case management and discovery issues. Participation in this seminar will be available both in-person and online.


Discover(y) Changes in Michigan’s Court Rules

September 5, 2019, 8:30–10:00 a.m.

Oakland County Bar Association

1760 South Telegraph Rd, Ste 100, Bloomfield Hills

Join the Judge Shalina Kumar, Judge James Alexander, and OCBA President Daniel Quick for a deep dive into the new civil discovery rules.


New Civil Discovery Rules Are Coming: What You Need to Know to Survive

September 17, 2019, 3:305:00 p.m.

Kent County Courthouse—5th Floor Conference Rm, 180 Ottawa Ave, Grand Rapids

Join Judge Christopher Yates and the Grand Rapids Bar Association for a discussion on the new civil discovery rules.  


Fourth Annual ACEDS Detroit Symposium

September 26–27, 2019

Midwest eDiscovery Conference: “To eDiscovery & Beyond”

Greektown Hotel & Casino, Detroit

Join the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists, ACEDS Detroit Chapter, ACEDS Chicago, and ACEDS Twin Cities Chapters in Detroit, Michigan on September 26th for a welcome reception and September 27th for a full day of education, networking and fun.  The keynote, Artificial Intelligence and the Law: Real Benefits and Challenges, will be delivered by Maura Grossman.  The symposium covering artificial intelligence, data privacy, and eDiscovery issues will feature a number of panels including a judicial panel discussing Michigan’s new civil discovery rules.


Have an upcoming event addressing the civil discovery rules?  Let us know at