Changes to Federal Civil and Judicial Procedure and Rules

As many of you already know, significant changes, both stylistic and substantive, are being made to the federal judicial procedure and rules. We understand these changes will become effective on December 1.

Recently we have received some e-mails from the publisher Thomson West alerting us to the changes and providing a link to more substantive discussion and a video on their website. For your convenience we are reproducing two of the e-mails here. The first e-mail was sent of November 14 and the second on November 30.

First e-mail:

Dear Colleagues,

In response to the discussion about the far-reaching changes to the Federal Civil Rules of Procedure, we have posted a 5 minute video featuring the authors of the Federal Civil Rules Handbook. The authors, Steven Baicker-McKee and Professor William Janssen, discuss the dramatic amendments to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, and why every major rule and form is changing on December 1, 2007. The video can be found under the “What’s New for Law Librarians” section at:

The changes have mostly come about as a result of a comprehensive overhaul by a federal style committee. There are stylistic and substantive changes, and all the forms have changed as well.

Thomson West has published the Federal Civil Rules Handbook just in time for the coming rule changes. All rule changes will be in this volume, along with all the new forms, and a great deal of annotated commentary. There will also be a “roadmap” at the end of each rule indicating the Style Project changes and the non-stylistic (substantive) changes to the rules.

We hope this information will be helpful to you.

Second e-mail:

Dear Colleagues,

Additional documentation has been added to the Librarian Relations Web site regarding the upcoming Rules changes. Please see for a chart comparing the features of Federal Civil Judicial Procedure and Rules, 2007 Revised Ed., with those of the Federal Civil Rules Handbook 2008, plus an FAQ about the rules amendment process. You may also access in-depth information about the Handbook at this site.

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