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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: 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
An Empirical Examination of Attorneys' Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation

This article presents attorney responses to a national random survey of 728 attorneys who represented plaintiffs and defendants in 621 recently closed class action cases. Those cases had been filed in or removed to federal courts, and the article focuses on attorneys' reasons for choosing a state or federal forum. The article also tracks the differences in rulings in state and federal courts on class certification, motions to dismiss, settlement review, and attorney fee awards in a subset of the 621 cases.

Note that this article draws on the same data examined in Attorney Reports on the Impact of Amchem and Ortiz on Choice of a Federal or State Forum in Class Action Litigation (2004).

A post-Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) article on the same data Attorney Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation: What Difference Does it Make? (2006) is also available.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 December 17, 2005
An Empirical Study of Rule 11 Sanctions

The results of a survey of 292 federal district judges concerning how they interpret and apply the 1983 amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 (before the 1993 amendments). Based on the judges' hypothetical reactions to actual cases in which Rule 11 sanctions were requested, the study outlines the judges' standards and rationales for imposing sanctions, the kinds of sanctions imposed, and the relationship between the judges' opinions and their expectations of how their colleagues would rule on the same issues.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 11 January 1, 1985
Analysis of Briefing Requirements in the United States Courts of Appeals

The Federal Judicial Center prepared this report to assist the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure to evaluate reported problems with and potential amendments to Rules 28 and 32 on the content and cover of briefs. The report presents information received from the thirteen courts of appeals on every local rule or practice that imposes upon briefs and brief covers requirements that are not in the national rules. The report also describes the history behind the adoption of the local requirements, the extent to which courts enforce them, as well as the courts' plans to adopt more briefing requirements, problems courts have experienced under the current rules, and whether Rule 28 should be amended to prohibit further variations or to include additional or different briefing requirements.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fed. R. App. P. 28, Fed. R. App. P. 32 November 30, 2004
Appendix E-4: Middle District of Florida — General Procedure Order Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 56 March 1, 2010

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