University of Wisconsin–Madison

Book Review: Federal Civil Rules Handbook (2013 edition)

This week’s featured title is the 2013 edition of the Federal Civil Rules Handbook.  You can find it on Reserve behind the Circulation Desk at: KF8816 A193.

One of the major highlights to this new edition is the inclusion and discussion of the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 (JVCA).  According to West publishing, “This new statute took effect in January 2012 and now applies to every federal court.  The Act extensively rewrote many portions of the federal venue laws, adjusting certain venue and jurisdictional concepts relating to corporations and aliens, and reconfigured portions of the federal removal procedures (codifying the unanimity requirement and resolving a national division on the 30-day removal period).”

The language of the Act itself may be found at the Government Printing Office website:  Part VII of the new edition includes selected provisions of the Judiciary Code (Title 28) amended by the Act.

A detailed article, written by Arthur D. Hellman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, discusses many aspects of the new law and may be found on the Jurist website at:  Professor Hellman writes “From a litigation perspective, the most important elements of the JVCA are those relating to removal jurisdiction and procedure.  That is in part because removal legislation, unlike most other provisions in the Judicial Code, affects everyday practice in state as well as federal courts.”

Keeping true to previous editions, the Federal Civil Rules Handbook details the specifics of federal civil practice.  A short list from the Table of Contents includes “Judicial Rulemaking,” “General Concepts in Federal Practice,” “Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with Commentary and Practice Pointers,” “Multidistrict Litigation,” and “Appendix of Forms,” which are then further subdivided into discreet topics such as “Commencing an Action; Service of Process, Pleadings, Motions and Orders,” “Depositions and Discovery,” “Trials,” and “Judgment” to name a few.

Each entry, thereafter, includes the language of the law or rule, “Authors’ Commentary,” practice tips, and case citations (with almost 1300 new citations in this edition according to West).  At over 2000 pages, this is more than just an ordinary handbook.  It is powerful up-to-date one-stop reference tool ready for your use.  

Submitted by Eric Taylor, Evening Reference Librarian on December 12, 2012

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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