In 2019, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 224, which made significant changes to the Missouri Supreme Court Rules governing discovery. The bill intended to align state discovery rules more closely with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“the FRCP”), mirroring the majority of other states that have already adopted some form of the federal rules. In advocating for the change, the bill sponsor, Senator Tony Luetkemeyer (R-34), stated, “These reforms will expedite lawsuits, ensure more timely resolution of disputes, and reduce costs for all parties involved.” While the ultimate impact of the rule change remains to be seen, the bill presents two interesting questions for Missouri’s legal community: (1) whether Missouri should go further and adopt the FRCP to ensure state-federal uniformity in court rules; and, more broadly, (2) whether the Legislature should amend the state’s civil procedure rules in the first place. The answers to those questions may determine the future of Missouri’s civil court rules.

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