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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—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

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—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
Civil Rules Amendments 2015 Comparison Chart Prepared by the District of Maryland

This comparison chart was prepared by the District of Maryland to show 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Additional information about rules 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 Civil Procedure 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 2016—Supplemental Transmittal to the Supreme Court

This supplemental package of materials was transmitted to the Supreme Court on October 29, 2015, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2016.

Proposed are amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 7008, 7012, 7016, 9027, and 9033, which are known as the "Stern Amendments."

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website:

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 Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7008, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7016, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9027, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9033 October 29, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2016—Transmittal to the Supreme Court

This package of materials was transmitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 9, 2015, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2016.

Proposed are amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 4, 5, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 28.1, 29, 32, 35, and 40, Forms 1, 5, and 6, and new Form 7; amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 1010, 1011, 2002, 3002.1, and 9006(f), and new Rule 1012; amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 4, 6, and 82; and amendments to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 4, 41, and 45.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website:

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. 21, Fed. R. App. P. 25, Fed. R. App. P. 26, Fed. R. App. P. 27, Fed. R. App. P. 28, Fed. R. App. P. 28.1, Fed. R. App. P. 29, Fed. R. App. P. 32, Fed. R. App. P. 35, Fed. R. App. P. 4, Fed. R. App. P. 40, Fed. R. App. P. 5, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1010, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1011, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1012, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2002, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9006, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 4, Fed. R. Civil P. 6, Fed. R. Civil P. 82, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed. R. Crim. P. 4, Fed. R. Crim. P. 41, Fed. R. Crim. P. 45 October 9, 2015
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2015—Transmittal to Congress

This package of materials was transmitted to Congress on April 29, 2015, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2015.

Amended were Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007 and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, and 55. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 84 and the Appendix of Forms were abrogated.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Federal Judicial Center’s website:

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 Bankruptcy Procedure, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 1, Fed. R. Civil P. 16, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 30, Fed. R. Civil P. 31, Fed. R. Civil P. 33, Fed. R. Civil P. 34, Fed. R. Civil P. 37, Fed. R. Civil P. 4, Fed. R. Civil P. 55, Fed. R. Civil P. 84 April 29, 2015
Study of Class Action Objector Appeals in the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals: Report to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States

This report to the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules focused on class action objector appeals filed in the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits from settlements approved by the district courts in class actions filed after January 1, 2008. The objector appeals studied were filed from January 1, 2008, through March 1, 2013, in the Seventh Circuit, through June 1, 2013, in the Second Circuit, and through July 1, 2013, in the Ninth Circuit. The study focused on the overall frequency of class action objector appeals during the study period, the final disposition of the class action objector appeals filed and no longer pending, and the prevalence of Appellate Rule 7 cost bonds imposed on the objector appeals identified.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Fed. R. App. P. 7, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23, Fed. R. Civil P. 7 October 1, 2013
Letter from FISA Court Presiding Judge Walton to Senate Judiciary Committee Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure July 29, 2013

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