Effective December 1, 2018, the Northern District’s Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot (“MIDP”) no longer requires that a defendant answer along with filing a Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 motion to dismiss, including fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. For the first eighteen months of the MIDP – the MIDP went into effect June 1, 2017 – parties were required to answer even if they filed a Rule 12 motion, unless the motion was based upon jurisdiction or immunity defenses. This triggered the MIDP’s early discovery requirements, which can be significant. Those requirements can be onerous, especially if one or more claims upon which the discovery is done are later dismissed. In my experience, Northern District judges often agreed to the parties’ request to stay the MIDP disclosures pending the outcome of a motion to dismiss. This rule change codifies that practice and should make it even more widespread. This rule change should make early motions to dismiss much more cost-effective for defendants as a resolution strategy, while still furthering the goals of early information exchange. And as the Court noted in its announcement of the rule change, it will also give the Federal Judicial Center good data for evaluating the two versions of the MIDP, as we will have eighteen months under the original rule and, now, eighteen months under the revised rule – the duration of the pilot program.