Prof. Gensler Addresses the “War on Boilerplate” at the Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference

May 19, 2017 | By Mackenzie Dilbeck, Director of Communications

Last week, Prof. Steven Gensler spoke at the Judicial Conference of the Fifth Circuit. Gensler sat on a panel with three judges and a practicing attorney. The group provided an update on recent and upcoming changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to the Federal Rules of Evidence. Judges and lawyers from the Fifth Circuit were in attendance. 

“The topic that seemed to interest the audience most was the recent trend of federal judges cracking down on the use of boilerplate objections in discovery," said Gensler. "Most of the lawyers—and all of the judges—were very much in favor of the so-called war on boilerplate. But the lawyers are afraid to unilaterally stop making boilerplate objections for fear that it will give their opponents who continue to do it an advantage. What they really want is for the judges to intervene and disarm everyone. More and more judges are stepping up to do just that.“

Gensler said he enjoyed the dynamic of having judges and lawyers in the room together. "The civil discovery system works a lot better when the bench and the bar talk to each other and develop a shared understanding of what is expected.”

Gensler is the Welcome D. and W. DeVier Pierson Professor of Law at the OU College of Law. He teaches courses on civil procedure, conflict of laws, federal courts, complex litigation, and alternative dispute resolution.

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