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The More Rules Change, the More They ... Change

By Robyn Hagan Cain on August 20, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The 19th century French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr penned the phrase "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," which is commonly translated as "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

While Karr's words may ring true in many circumstances, they don't apply to amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure. Which is what we're talking about today.

The Judicial Conference of the U.S. Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated for comment. This week, the public comment period opened for several proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, which govern litigation in the federal courts. The comment period closes February 15, 2013.

The amendments propose changes to the following rules:

  • Appellate Rule 6
  • Bankruptcy Rules 1014, 7004, 7008, 7012, 7016, 7054, 8001-8028, 9023, 9024, 9027, and 9033, and Official Forms 9033, and Official Forms 9033, and Official Forms
  • Criminal Rules 5 and 58
  • Evidence Rules 801 and 803

The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedures says that all comments will be carefully considered by the rules committees. Before you comment, be sure to check your spelling, grammar, and emoticon use: Comments are publicly available because they are part of the official record. Links to the comments on the proposed amendments are already available on the U.S. Courts website.

Comments concerning the proposed amendments may be submitted electronically to or in hard copy to: Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Suite 7-240, Washington, D.C., 20544.

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