Friday, October 05, 2007

Prof. Parker Posts Article on Postponing the FRCP Restyling Amendments

Prof. Jeffrey S. Parker of George Mason University School of Law has just posted an article entitled Postponing the 2007 'Restyling' Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Here is the abstract:

I write to urge the Members of the House and the Senateto enact legislation postponing the effectiveness of pendingamendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Withoutintervening Congressional action, these amendments will takeeffect on December 1 of this year pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2074(a). I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, butthis year's pending amendments also are extraordinary, as theywill completely re-write each and every provision of the CivilRules for the first time in their 70-year history. Morefundamentally, 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 theproposed amendments are likely to produce a material degradationof civil justice in our federal courts by imposing enormousburdens of transitional cost, in exchange for little or nobenefit. Perhaps more importantly, there is no indication thatthe judicial rulemaking committees have fully considered thepotential consequences of these sweeping changes. For thesereasons, the Congress should provide itself the opportunity tostudy these proposed rules--and the process and concepts thatproduced them--before they take effect.


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