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Postponing the 2007 'Restyling' Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure


Jeffrey S. Parker


George Mason University School of Law

September 2007

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 07-33

Abstract:     
I write to urge the Members of the House and the Senate to enact legislation postponing the effectiveness of pending amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Without intervening Congressional action, these amendments will take effect on December 1 of this year pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2074(a). I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but this year's pending amendments also are extraordinary, as they will completely re-write each and every provision of the Civil Rules for the first time in their 70-year history. More fundamentally, they adopt a novel concept of rule interpretation - what one of the proponents calls "clarity without change" - that is antithetical to our jurisprudence and likely to produce disarray in the procedural system.

There is a substantial body of opinion, in which I join, that the proposed amendments are likely to produce a material degradation of civil justice in our federal courts by imposing enormous burdens of transitional cost, in exchange for little or no benefit. Perhaps more importantly, there is no indication that the judicial rulemaking committees have fully considered the potential consequences of these sweeping changes. For these reasons, the Congress should provide itself the opportunity to study these proposed rules - and the process and concepts that produced them - before they take effect.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, jurisprudence, civil justice, judicial rulemaking

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Date posted: September 22, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Parker, Jeffrey S., Postponing the 2007 'Restyling' Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (September 2007). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 07-33. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1016221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1016221

Contact Information

Jeffrey S. Parker (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-8055 (Phone)
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