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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.

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Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Users' Manual for the Northern District of Illinois

A detailed description of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project, which begins for participating judges in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on June 1, 2017.

A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project in the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure July 4, 2017
Mass Tort Settlement Class Actions: Five Case Studies

This report by Professor Jay Tidmarsh of Notre Dame Law School examines five cases in which Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has been used to achieve a settlement of a mass tort controversy. The reason for studying mass tort settlement class actions is simple: Using class actions for this purpose has been, and is, controversial. The mass tort settlement class action was the subject of a significant decision in the last term of the Supreme Court, and it is also the subject of a proposed amendment to Rule 23 that has been under consideration by the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. There has been considerable debate both about the idea of settlement class actions in general and about the proposed amendment in particular. There have also been a number of case studies or anecdotal descriptions about mass torts in which settlement classes have been used. Thus far, however, the studies and descriptions have been narrowly focused on only one case or on only some of the issues relevant to the propriety of settlement class actions.

Fed. R. Civil P. 23 January 1, 1998
Mass Torts Problems and Proposals: A Report to the Mass Torts Working Group (Appendix C)

The Mass Torts Working Group, appointed in 1998 by the Chief Justice, asked the Center to conduct a literature review examining problems related to mass torts and to discuss proposals for resolving those problems. This report is the result of that research. It identifies fourteen distinct problems and discusses a variety of case-management, legislative, and rule-making proposals to ameliorate those problems.

This report is reprinted at 187 Federal Rules Decisions 328 (1999).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 January 1, 1999
Motions for Sanctions Based Upon Spoliation of Evidence in Civil Cases: Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

In 2010, the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules requested a study of motions for sanctions based on an allegation that the nonmoving party had destroyed evidence, especially electronically stored information (ESI). The study examined the electronic docket records of civil cases filed in 2007–2008 in 19 districts, including at least one district in every circuit except the District of Columbia Circuit. This report summarizes the findings of that study and, where appropriate, compares those findings to other studies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 37 June 6, 2011
Motions to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim After Iqbal: Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

This report presents the findings of a Federal Judicial Center study on the filing and resolution of motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The study was requested by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. This request was prompted by two recent Supreme Court decisions Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)  that interpreted Rule 8(a) by stating that a plaintiff must present a "plausible" claim for relief.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 12, Fed. R. Civil P. 8 March 1, 2011
Neutral Science Panels: Two Examples of Panels of Court-Appointed Experts in the Breast Implants Product Liability Litigation

This report to the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management describes two different types of independent panels used in the silicone gel breast implants litigation. The use of such panels of appointed experts represents a marked departure from the traditional means of presenting and considering testimony. This report describes these expert panels in sufficient detail to permit others to understand the procedures that were used, the benefits that resulted, and the problems that arose. A similar version of this report was originally delivered to the Committee in November 1999.

Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 706 June 15, 2001
Northern District of Illinois Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Standing Order

Beginning on June 1, 2017, the Northern District of Illinois is participating in a three-year pilot project known as the “Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project,” which is studying whether requiring parties in civil cases to respond to a series of standard discovery requests before undertaking other discovery reduces the cost and delay of civil litigation. In this pilot project, when making mandatory initial discovery responses parties are required to disclose both favorable and unfavorable information that is relevant to their claims or defenses regardless of whether they intend to use the information in their cases.

General Order 17-0005 specifies that a Standing Order will be entered in all covered cases. The Standing Order, In re Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Program in the Northern District of Illinois, explains the parties’ obligations under the pilot project and sets forth the initial discovery requests to which the parties must respond. All civil cases assigned to participating judges, except those categories of cases exempted by the Standing Order, are included in the pilot program and subject to the Standing Order.

A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project in the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure December 1, 2018
Numerical and Durational Limitations on Discovery Events as Adopted in Federal Local Rules and State Practices

Conducted at the request of Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the report describes the local rules or practices in all ninety-four federal districts regarding numerical limitations on interrogatories and depositions and durational limits on depositions.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 33 February 1, 1998
Overview of Federal Class Actions: Past, Present, and Future, Second Edition

An analysis and discussion of the origins, development, and existing state of the law governing class actions.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 January 1, 1977
Past and Potential Uses of Empirical Research in Civil Rulemaking

This article describes some of the advantages, disadvantages, potential benefits, and limitations of conducting empirical research to inform the civil rulemaking process. The article documents and analyzes the impact of fourteen Center studies during the last fourteen years in response to specific requests from rulemakers who wished to examine empirical data relevant to contemplated changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. From 77 Notre Dame Law Review 1121 (April 2002).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure April 1, 2002

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