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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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Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2019—Transmittal to Congress

This package of materials was transmitted to Congress on April 25, 2019, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2019.

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure are as follows:

  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 3, 5, 13, 21, 25, 26, 26.1, 28, 32, and 39.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 4001, 6007, 9036, and 9037.
  • New Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16.1 and amendments to Rules 5 of rules governing habeas corpus proceedings.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Evidence 807.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fed. R. App. P. 13, Fed. R. App. P. 21, Fed. R. App. P. 25, Fed. R. App. P. 26, Fed. R. App. P. 26.1, Fed. R. App. P. 28, Fed. R. App. P. 32, Fed. R. App. P. 39, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4001, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 6007, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9036, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed. R. Crim. P. 16.1, Fed. R. Crim. P. 5, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 807 May 2, 2019
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2019—Transmittal to the Judicial Conference

This package of materials was transmitted to the Judicial Conference, and it includes proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2019.

  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 3, 5, 13, 21, 25, 26, 26.1, 28, 32, and 39.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 4001, 6007, 9036, and 9037.
  • New Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16.1 and amendments to Rules 5 of rules governing habeas corpus proceedings.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Evidence 807.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fed. R. App. P. 13, Fed. R. App. P. 21, Fed. R. App. P. 25, Fed. R. App. P. 26, Fed. R. App. P. 26.1, Fed. R. App. P. 28, Fed. R. App. P. 3, Fed. R. App. P. 32, Fed. R. App. P. 39, Fed. R. App. P. 5, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4001, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 6007, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9036, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed. R. Crim. P. 16.1, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 807 May 2, 2019
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2019—Transmittal to the Supreme Court

This package of materials was transmitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 24, 2018, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2019.

This contains proposed amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 3, 5, 13, 21, 25, 26, 26.1, 28, 32, and 39; Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 4001, 6007, 9036, and 9037; Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 5 of the rules governing habeas corpus proceedings; and Federal Rule of Evidence 807; and proposed new Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16.1.

Additional information about these amendments is available at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fed. R. App. P. 13, Fed. R. App. P. 21, Fed. R. App. P. 25, Fed. R. App. P. 26, Fed. R. App. P. 26.1, Fed. R. App. P. 28, Fed. R. App. P. 3, Fed. R. App. P. 32, Fed. R. App. P. 39, Fed. R. App. P. 5, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4001, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 6007, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9036, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9037, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed. R. Crim. P. 16.1, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 807 May 2, 2019
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015

Video Series: The amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1, 2015, reformed discovery rules for the sake of efficiency, including cost containment. The amendments are not intended to deprive parties in civil litigation of proof or defense.

The first video in this series of five short videos provides an overview of the amendments. The other four videos address the four primary themes of the amendments. Also posted on this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Discussion of these amendments is the principal topic of The Chief Justice's 2015 Year-End Report.

Overview
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which became effective on December 1, 2015, foster more cost-effective discovery through cooperation, proportionality, early and active case management, and considerations of electronically stored information (ESI). This video is an overview of amendments to Rules 1, 16, 26, 34, and 37.

Cooperation
An amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1, which became effective on December 1, 2015, resulted from a finding that civil litigation is resolved more quickly and less expensively when parties and lawyers cooperate. The amendment makes explicit that the rules "should be construed, administered, and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding."

Proportional Discovery
This video describes amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), 26(c)(1)(B), 26(d), and 34 that became effective on December 1. Amendments to Rule 26(b)(1) are designed to promote proportional discovery: discovery tailored by the judge and the parties to meet the reasonable needs of the case. Proportional discovery provides the information needed by the litigants to prove their cases, but avoids excess and waste. Judges are encouraged to engage in a dialogue with the parties regarding the amount of discovery reasonably needed to resolve the litigation. This video also describes amended Rule 26(c)(1)(B) on cost shifting, an amendment to Rule 26(d) on document production, and changes to Rule 34 on objections to document production requests.

Early and Active Case Management
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1, 2015, respond to findings that early intervention by judges helps to narrow issues and reduce discovery. Litigation results are more satisfactory when a judge actively manages a case from the beginning and stays involved. The amendments do not break new ground; they emphasize the importance of early, hands-on, and continuing case management. The times for service of a complaint and the time for holding an initial case-management conference are reduced. The rules now recognize that live conferences are almost always the most effective way to identify the needs of a case and issue orders tailored to efficient resolution. Discovery disputes should be addressed by discussion before motion. The amendments also concern preservation of electronically stored information (ESI) and Federal Rule of Evidence 502's protections against inadvertent waiver of the attorney–client privilege and work-product protections.

Failure to Preserve Electronically Stored Information
Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e), which became effective on December 1, 2015, specify that sanctions for failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI) require findings that (1) the ESI should have been preserved in the anticipation of litigation, (2) the party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it, and (3) it cannot be restored or replaced through additional discovery. The rule does not create a duty to preserve ESI. Instead, it leaves in place the common-law duty.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 1, Fed. R. Civil P. 16, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 34, Fed. R. Civil P. 37, Fed. R. Evid. 502 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Cooperation

An amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1, which became effective on December 1, 2015, resulted from a finding that civil litigation is resolved more quickly and less expensively when parties and lawyers cooperate. The amendment makes explicit the rules "should be construed, administered, and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding."

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 1 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Early and Active Case Management

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1, 2015, respond to findings that early intervention by judges helps to narrow issues and reduce discovery. Litigation results are more satisfactory when a judge actively manages a case from the beginning and stays involved. The amendments do not break new ground; they emphasize the importance of early, hands-on, and continuing case management. The times for service of a complaint and the time for holding an initial case-management conference are reduced. The rules now recognize that live conferences are almost always the most effective way to identify the needs of a case and issue orders tailored to efficient resolution. Discovery disputes should be addressed by discussion before motion. The amendments also concern preservation of electronically stored information (ESI) and Federal Rule of Evidence 502's protections against inadvertent waiver of the attorney–client privilege and work-product protections.

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 502 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Failure to Preserve Electronically Stored Information

Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e), which became effective on December 1, 2015, specify that sanctions for failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI) require findings that (1) the ESI should have been preserved in the anticipation of litigation, (2) the party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it, and (3) it cannot be restored or replaced through additional discovery. The rule does not create a duty to preserve ESI. Instead, it leaves in place the common-law duty.

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 37 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Overview

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which became effective on December 1, 2015, foster more cost-effective discovery through cooperation, proportionality, early and active case management, and considerations of electronically stored information (ESI).

This video is an overview of amendments to Rules 1, 16, 26, 34, and 37.

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 1, Fed. R. Civil P. 16, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 34, Fed. R. Civil P. 37 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015—Proportional Discovery

This video describes amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), 26(c)(1)(B), 26(d), and 34 that became effective on December 1.

Amendments to Rule 26(b)(1) are designed to promote proportional discovery: discovery tailored by the judge and the parties to meet the reasonable needs of the case. Proportional discovery provides the information needed by the litigants to prove their cases, but avoids excess and waste. Judges are encouraged to engage in a dialogue with the parties regarding the amount of discovery reasonably needed to resolve the litigation.

This video also describes amended Rule 26(c)(1)(B) on cost shifting, an amendment to Rule 26(d) on document production, and changes to Rule 34 on objections to document production requests.

The following videos also relate to Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Civil Rules 2015:

Also posted at this website is text of Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 34 December 1, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Evidence 2017—Self-Authenticating Electronic Evidence

Federal Rules of Evidence 902(13) and 902(14), which became effective on December 1, 2017, provide for the self-authentication of electronic evidence. Under these rules, electronic evidence can be authenticated by certification instead of by testimony. Rule 902(13) applies to electronic evidence such as computer files, social media posts, and smart device data. Rule 902(14) applies to electronic copies.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 902 December 1, 2017

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