We are ready to effectively and efficiently address Michigan's new civil discovery rules. Are you?

Days ago, on January 1, 2020 to be exact, the broadest changes to the Michigan Court Rules in 35 years became effective. The comprehensive amendments to the court rules governing discovery in civil, domestic relations, juvenile, and probate matters aim to make discovery more efficient and less burdensome, and command an overhaul of the way Michigan practitioners conduct civil discovery in circuit courts.1 Dickinson Wright PLLC attorneys have been at the forefront of these changes, including reviewing the Michigan Court Rules, drafting proposed amendments, and providing education.

The new civil discovery court rules are a product of years of hard work by judges, professors, and practitioners, including Daniel D. Quick (Member, Troy) who served as Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Special Committee – which spearheaded the review and drafting. Elizabeth L. Luckenbach (Member, Troy) served on the Impact on District, Domestic Relations, Juvenile, and Probate Courts Subcommittee.

Dickinson Wright's involvement does not end there. Daniel D. Quick, Scott A. Petz (Member, Troy), and Alma Sobo (Associate, Troy), in partnership with, among others, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Detroit Chapter of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), co-authored The Civil Discovery Guidebook to the new civil discovery rules, which includes a foreword by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack. The Civil Discovery Guidebook provides the text of the amended court rules, along with analysis and practice tips, and is an essential resource for navigating the new civil discovery rules.

The Civil Discovery Guidebook was unveiled at the ACEDS Detroit 4th Annual eDiscovery Symposium/Midwest Regional Conference in September 2019. The event included a judicial panel on the rule changes. The Civil Discovery Guidebook is available here along with Daniel D. Quick's "The New Civil Discovery Rules" article in the Michigan Bar Journal.

The education efforts of Dickinson Wright attorneys go well beyond. For example, Daniel D. Quick has presented at numerous educational events throughout the state, including "A Whole New World (of Discovery Rules)" at the biennial Oakland County Circuit Court Bench- Bar Conference, Michigan Judicial Institute's "New Civil Discovery Rules" for all Michigan judges handling civil dockets, and Oakland County Bar Association's "Discover(y) Changes in Michigan's Court Rules." Scott A. Petz and Peter H. Webster (Member, Troy) presented at the Oakland County Bar Association's Municipal Law Committee meeting. Scott A. Petz also presented on a panel at the Third Circuit Court/Detroit Bar Association Bench-Bar Luncheon: "Are You Ready for Civil Practice in Michigan in 2020? All You Need to Know About the New Rules."

With deep involvement in every step of the rules change, Dickinson Wright attorneys have a distinct appreciation and understanding of the opportunities and challenges under the new rules. We are ready to leverage our significant involvement in the rules process and our command of the intricacies of the comprehensive amendments to help clients navigate the court system.


1. The rule changes are reflected in Michigan Supreme Court's Administrative Order No 2018-19 (2019), available here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.