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Comments by Candlelight? Judicial Conference Proposes Amendments

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By Robyn Hagan Cain on August 29, 2012 10:02 AM

As of Monday night, more than 30,000 residents in Broward and Palm Beach Counties were without power thanks to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.

So what’s a lawyer to do while waiting for the power to return?

First, consider purchasing a generator for the next storm. Then, review the Judicial Conference’s proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure on your wee, back-lit smartphone screen.

(N.B. Even if you're sitting pretty with your air-conditioning and Internet access in Alabama or Georgia, you can still take a gander at the changes.)

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated for comment. The public comment period recently opened for several proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, which govern litigation in the federal courts. The comment period closes February 15, 2013.

The amendments propose changes to the following rules:

  • Appellate Rule 6
  • Bankruptcy Rules 1014, 7004, 7008, 7012, 7016, 7054, 8001-8028, 9023, 9024, 9027, and 9033, and Official Forms 9033, and Official Forms 9033, and Official Forms
  • Criminal Rules 5 and 58
  • Evidence Rules 801 and 803

The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedures says that all comments -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- will be carefully considered by the rules committees. Remember to check your spelling and grammar: Comments are publicly available because they are part of the official record.

(Links to the comments on the proposed amendments are already available on the U.S. Courts website.)

Comments concerning the proposed amendments may be submitted electronically to or in hard copy to: Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Suite 7-240, Washington, D.C., 20544.

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