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Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges, Sixth Edition

Federal Judicial Center
March 1, 2013

The Benchbook is an ongoing compilation of information that federal judges have found useful for immediate bench or chambers reference in civil and criminal proceedings. It contains sections on such topics as assignment of counsel, taking guilty pleas, standard voir dire questions, sentencing, and contempt. The sixth edition, published March 2013, adds new sections on disclosure of exculpatory information under Brady v. Maryland, civil case management, and restraint of dangerous defendants (“shackling”). Also included are a complete revision of the sentencing section that now provides a sample sentencing “script” for judges to follow, Padilla-based warnings to noncitizen and sex-offense defendants, and updated jury instructions that deal with jurors’ use of social media and electronic devices. The Benchbook is prepared under the guidance of experienced district judges and may be used online, downloaded to a computer or other electronic device, or printed out in loose-leaf format.