West Publishes Revised Edition Of Federal Civil Rules Handbook

Saturday, March 1, 2008 - 01:00

Each Federal Rule of Civil Procedure has been revised, the most sweeping change since the rules were enacted in 1938. to help lawyers understand the unprecedented changes that became effective on Dec. 1, Thomson West has published the Federal Civil Rules Handbook, 2008 edition.

The 2008 edition of the Federal Civil Rules Handbook not only contains the text of the newly amended rules but also includes substantial analysis and commentary to guide practitioners through these new waters. It includes asummary of the amendments, which explains the objectives, nature and scope of the amendments. The book also contains a "road map" for each rule, summarizing the substantive, organizational and language changes for that rule, as well as commentary at the rule section or sub-section level providing detailed information about all of these developments.

"The amendments change the entire landscape of the Federal Civil Rules," said co-author Steven F. Baicker-McKee. "If litigators cite a provision based on where it used to be located, they may be citing to the wrong provision. In addition, the stylistic changes to the rules mean attorneys may be citing a rule to the court using old terminology. The new edition of the handbook provides a road map that can orient lawyers to these dramatic changes and give them comfort that when they go to court they are fully prepared."

In addition to the amendments to the rules, the United States Supreme Court adopted revisions for each of the appended illustrated federal forms. The Supreme Court also promulgated an entirely new rule, Rule 5.2, designed to address confidentially in pleadings, and issued its decision last year in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, which expressly overturned prior precedent and may have significantly changed the nature of notice pleading under the Federal Rules. These new developments are critical to litigators and extensively covered in Federal Civil Rules Handbook, 2008 edition.

This new edition of the handbook also marks its 15th anniversary as it continues to serve as the most comprehensive single-volume guide on all procedural aspects of civil litigation, saving research time. It contains more than 1,800 pages of procedural guidance, providing expert discussion and practice tips, including practical applications, limitations and traps, and specifying the timing for each step in a civil action. The 2008 edition is updated with the most current case law available, including more than 1,000 new citations, many of which are 2007 cases.

A podcast interview with two of the co-authors, Steven F. Baicker-McKee and William M. Janssen, discussing the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and their impact on litigators can be downloaded at http://feeds.feedburner. com/Westcast.