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Rules of Practice and Procedure


How Rules of Procedure Are Developed and Revised in the U.S. Courts
2020, 2 pages
This document provides an overview of the rule-making process in the U.S. Courts. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to establish the rules of procedure used by the federal courts. By statute, Congress empowered the Supreme Court to develop these rules and authorized the Judicial Conference to study their impact. The document describes the role of the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (the “Standing Committee”), the various stages of formal review and comment, and the scope of local rules.

Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Third Edition
Ronald J. Hedges, Barbara J. Rothstein, and Elizabeth C. Wiggins
2017, 55 pages
This third edition of the pocket guide on managing the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) covers the December 1, 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and reflects the rise of new sources of ESI, particularly social media, and updates judges on how ESI may be searched. It also suggests case-management techniques that judges might use in smaller civil actions in which the costs of ESI discovery could hamper resolution on the merits.

Pro Se Case Management for Nonprisoner Civil Litigation
Jefri Wood
2016, 158 pages
This manual provides a practical guide to steps that courts can take before and during litigation to manage nonprisoner pro se litigation more efficiently, steps that may also help pro se litigants better navigate the complexities of federal civil litigation. Part I discusses the concept of procedural fairness and the goal of increasing access to justice; it also addresses some of the potential ethical concerns about providing assistance to pro se litigants. Part II examines specific case-management techniques that federal courts have applied or that have been recommended as potentially useful in pro se cases. Part III provides a more in-depth look at many of the legal issues that can arise during pro se litigation, focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and case law, in order to give judges a better understanding of the scope of their authority and discretion in pro se matters.

Discovery in International Civil Litigation: A Guide for Judges
Timothy P. Harkness, Rahim Moloo, Patrick Oh, and Charline Yim
2015, 121 pages
At an increasing rate, U.S. courts are hearing cases in which parties seek evidence located abroad or parties to a foreign or international proceeding seek evidence located in the United States. International discovery issues pose difficult and complex challenges, at both the procedural and substantive levels. This guide seeks to address these issues by providing a practical overview of cross-border discovery questions that commonly arise in civil cases before federal courts.

Confidential Discovery: A Pocket Guide on Protective Orders
Robert Timothy Reagan
2012, 21 pages
Among the reasons that courts issue protective orders in both civil and criminal cases is to keep discovery confidential on a showing of good cause. Experience has proved confidentiality protective orders to grease the wheels of discovery in many cases. The protective orders discussed in this pocket guide are different from sealing orders that protect the courts' own records and protective orders that protect information from discovery. Among the topics addressed here are blanket orders, stipulated orders, and designating discovery for attorney eyes only.

Sealing Court Records and Proceedings: A Pocket Guide
Robert Timothy Reagan
2010, 26 pages
Court case records and proceedings are presumptively public, but occasionally there are compelling reasons for keeping all or parts of them confidential, sometimes permanently but often only temporarily. This pocket guide summarizes the case law on sealing records and proceedings and presents a useful procedural checklist of seven principles to follow when denying public access.

A Primer on the Jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, Second Edition
Thomas E. Baker
2009, 120 pages
This monograph provides an introduction to the complexity and nuance in the subject-matter jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts of Appeals. The monograph examines procedural issues related to the exercise of appellate jurisdiction in appeals from final judgments and interlocutory appeals. Coverage includes civil and criminal appeals, extraordinary writs, and federal administrative agency reviews. This edition contains new sections on the future of the Courts of Appeals, judicial rulemaking, non-party appeals in criminal matters, and an updated bibliography. Research for the second edition is current through the end of the Supreme Court Term 2007-2008, and includes appellate case law through October 2008.

A Practical Guide to Revision of Local Court Rules
Jeanne Johnson Bowden
1988, 74 pages
A description of the Northern District of Georgia's two-year rules revision project. The author is a former law clerk with the court and was research assistant to the court's rules committee during the revision. This paper was written to facilitate the rules revision process in other trial courts by sharing the experiences of Northern Georgia. It is intended to be a "how-to-do-it" presentation. It does not address the philosophical considerations that influence the content of specific rules in the nation's trial courts.