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.


Civil Discovery Guidebook

Civil Discovery GuidebookThe State Bar of Michigan has partnered with the Detroit Chapter of the Association of Certified e-Discovery Specialists and attorneys at Dickinson Wright and Warner Norcross + Judd to provide this 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. A limited number of paper Guidebooks are available for $15 each (which includes taxes and shipping) for purchase.

Civil Discovery Guidebook


On-Demand Seminar: Prepare for Michigan’s Discovery Rule Changes

Available for free to all State Bar of Michigan members

The State Bar of Michigan is proud to partner with ICLE to provide a free On-Demand Seminar on the new civil discovery rules, featuring Judge Christopher Yates and Daniel Quick, two members of our Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee. To access the on-demand seminar, State Bar members should click the “buy now” tab, which will provide the option to buy the on-demand seminar for $0.

In addition, access a curated list of relevant resources and ICLE Partnership content at


The New Civil Discovery Rules

Read the September Bar JournalMichigan Bar Journal—September 2019
SBM Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee Chair Dan Quick describes how the new civil discovery rules "signal a paradigm shift in how civil litigation will be conducted in Michigan Courts."


Discovery Reform and the Family Law Practice

Michigan Bar Journal—October 2019
SBM Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee member Mathew Kobliska discusses the changes to Read the September Bar Journalthe discovery process for domestic relations proceedings, including initial disclosures, limits on interrogatories, and confidential filing for sensitive documents.


Probate Proceedings and Discovery

Michigan Bar Journal—October 2019
SBM Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee member George Strander discusses how the new civil discovery rules will “improve the application of discovery standards to the probate setting.”


New Civil Discovery Rules Webinar and Materials

Michigan Judicial Institute

Judge James Alexander, Judge Christopher Yates, and Daniel Quick highlight the important changes to the civil discovery rules and offer practical advice for case management and discovery issues.


Michigan’s New Discovery Rules

On Balance podcast hosts JoAnn Hathaway and Tish Vincent talk to Katie Hennessey, public policy counsel at the State Bar, about the drivers behind these amendments and the resources available to help lawyers get up to speed on the changes.


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

Court Rule Changes

Negligence Law Section

Monday, November 18, 2019

Michigan State University Management Education Center, Troy

Join the Negligence Law Section for a one-day seminar focusing on the upcoming court rule changes, featuring Justice Megan Cavanagh (Michigan Supreme Court), Judge Elizabeth Gleicher (Michigan Court of Appeals), and Judge Christopher Yates (Kent County Circuit Court).  


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

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