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Materials About the Federal Rules

The materials listed below, produced or made available by the Center, are related to the Federal Rules of Procedure (civil, criminal, evidence, appellate, and bankruptcy).

For a list of projects or other reports of FJC research that the Center has published, click on Research Projects or Reports and Studies.

Displaying 41 - 50 of 212
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Attorney Reports on the Impact of Amchem and Ortiz on Choice of a Federal or State Forum in Class Action Litigation: A Report to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules Regarding a Case-based Survey of Attorneys

While considering a proposal to amend Fed. R. Civil P. 23 to create new certification standards that would apply only to settlement class actions, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules sought this empirical research from the Center to help it decide how to proceed. This report is the second phase. For the first phase see Effects of Amchem/Ortiz on the Filing of Federal Class Actions: Report to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (2002).

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 April 1, 2004
Attorney Satisfaction with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure—Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

This report compares selected questions from opinion surveys regarding civil litigation completed by members of the American College of Trail Lawyers, ABA Section of Litigation, and National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure March 1, 2010
Attorneys' Fees in Class Actions

A circuit-by-circuit review of case law governing award of attorneys' fees in class actions and an examination of abuses in fee requests. The report also includes a discussion of judges' and attorneys' attitudes toward fee computation. Recommendations focus on procedures, implemented early in litigation, designed to avoid problems when fee requests are submitted.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 January 1, 1980
Auctioning the Role of Class Counsel in Class Action Cases: A Descriptive Study

A study conducted by the Center to provide the Third Circuit Task Force on Selection of Class Counsel information on judges who have employed an auction or bidding method to select class counsel. The report describes in detail the auctioning procedures used by the judges, including the process of evaluating bids and selecting the winning bidder. This report is also reprinted at 209 Federal Rules Decisions 519 (2002).

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 August 29, 2001
Brady v. Maryland Material in the United States District Courts: Rules, Orders, and Policies

An update of Treatment of Brady v. Maryland Material in United States District and State Courts' Rules, Orders, and Policies, the October 2004 report to the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules as it and the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure consider proposed amendments to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed. R. Crim. P. 11, Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 May 31, 2007
Case Commentary: West v. Dobrev, 735 F.3d 921 (10th Cir. 2013)

Summary Judgment | Sua Sponte Orders

This case touches on motions for summary judg­ment in connection with Hague Convention cases. Because of the emphasis on expedited proceedings, many courts have used summary judgment procedures to eliminate unmeritorious cases and narrow issues to those where there is a real and material dispute. Rule 56 sets out con­siderations and procedures for summary judgments, and provides that a court may grant a summary judgment where there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.


Mother petitioned the district court for the return of her two children to Belgium; they were being retained in Utah by their father after the conclusion of their vacation with him. The district court held a preliminary hearing six days after the petition was filed, during which time the parties provided documentation to support their claims. Mother presented evidence that established a prima facie case for the return of the children—that the children’s habitual residence was Belgium, that she had enforceable custody rights, and that father had wrongfully retained the children. Father asserted an Article 13(b) defense that the children would be exposed to a grave risk if returned to Belgium, but he had no actual evidence that he could present that such a grave risk existed. What father really wanted was additional time to be able to investigate whether there was abuse. Based upon the oral and written submissions of the parties, the district court issued a brief written decision granting mother’s petition and ordered the children returned to Belgium.


Summary Judgment Procedure. The Tenth Circuit recognized that Article 11 of the Convention exhorts court to act expeditiously to determine petitions made for return of children. The court noted that a district court has a great deal of discretion to determine the procedures necessary to resolve a Hague case. Quoting March v. Levine,[1] the court observed that neither the Convention, nor ICARA, nor any constitutional provisions require that an evidentiary hearing or discovery be allowed, as a matter of right, in Hague Convention proceedings. In this case, mother had easily made out a prima facie case for return, and father was unable to provide any credible evidence that supported his claim of a grave risk under Article 13. At most, his submissions amounted to a “fishing expedition.” Rejecting father’s claims that he had been denied due process by the lack of an evidentiary hearing, the court held that the father had a meaningful opportunity to be heard and no denial of due process occurred.

[1]. 249 F.3d 462, 474 (6th Cir. 2001).

This document is part of The 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction: A Resource for Judges, a Special Topic Webpage.

Fed. R. Civil P. 56 March 5, 2016
Case Law Divergence from the Federal Rules of Evidence

This report is an effort to increase the awareness of counsel practicing in federal courts, as well as judges, about the possibility that case law has diverged from the text of some of the Federal Rules of Evidence. At the request of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, Professor Daniel Capra, committee reporter, highlights the major instances in which case law has diverged from an applicable Rule. This divergence comes in two forms: (1) where the case law (defined as case law in at least one circuit) is flatly inconsistent with the text of the Rule, the Committee Note explaining the text, or both; and (2) where the case law has provided significant development on a point that is not addressed by either the text of the Rule or the Committee Note.

This report is reprinted at 197 Federal Rules Decisions 531 (2001).

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence October 3, 2000
Case Management and Court Management in United States District Courts

An oft-cited analysis of the differences between court management procedures resulting in fast versus slow processing and those resulting in high versus low rates of disposition. This volume reports the overall results of the District Court Studies Project, a long-range effort by the Federal Judicial Center to assist the work of the United States district courts. The goal of the project is to help the courts achieve and reconcile the purpose stated in Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: "to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." Specifically, the project has been designed to determine what procedures are associated with the highest possible speed and productivity, consistent with he highest standards of justice. Alternative procedures are examined and recommended.

Fed. R. Civil P. 1 January 1, 1977
Case Management Procedures in the Federal Courts of Appeals [Superseded]

This report details the varying appellate practices and procedures of the U.S. courts of appeals within the generally uniform appellate scheme imposed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Part I of the report highlights key variations from court to court; Part II describes in detail the case management procedures of each court.

Superseded by Case Management Procedures in the Federal Courts of Appeals, Second Edition (2011).

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure January 1, 2000
Chapter 11 Venue Choice by Large Public Companies: A Report to the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System

A report that responds to a request by the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System for empirical information and analysis on whether the bankruptcy case venue statutes and procedural rule should be amended. The report presents the results of a 1996 survey of federal bankruptcy judges about Chapter 11 venue and judges' views of a proposal to amend 28 U.S.C. Section 1408 to prohibit corporate debtors from filing for relief in a district based solely on the debtor's state of incorporation or based solely on an earlier filing by a subsidiary in the district. The report also presents analyses of administrative and demographic characteristics of large public companies that emerged from Chapter 11 during 1994 and 1995.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure January 1, 1997