Research Guides

Successful Summer Strategies: Research in the Real World

Sources for Federal Court Rules, Forms, and Practice Materials

Federal court rules and procedures fall into four categories:

  • Rules of general application that apply nationwide, such as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • Rules for the various types of federal courts, such as the United States Supreme Court, the Bankruptcy Courts, or the Tax Court
  • Local rules of individual federal courts;
  • Other provisions in Title 28 of the U.S. Code ("Judiciary and Judicial Procedure") that also contain procedural law

Print Sources

  • Both U.S.C.S. and U.S.C.A., the annotated versions of the federal code, include federal procedural rules.
  • Cases interpreting the federal rules can be researched by using the Federal Practice Digest, which indexes cases reported in Federal Supplement (F.Supp.) and Federal Rules Decisions (F.R.D.)
  • Two additional sources that digest and report federal procedural case law are the Federal Rules Service and the Federal Rules of Evidence Service. Each of these is a self-contained set that allows you to identify and read the full text of cases applying the federal rules. Find out if your employer's library carries these services.

Electronic Sources

Lexis:

Many federal rules, including some local and specialized rules, are available under Legal- Federal Legal- U.S. - United States Code Service, Const., Rules, Conventions, and Public Laws. Extensive coverage of federal local rules and other specialized rules is under Legal-Federal Legal- U.S. - Court Rules.

Westlaw:

The directory heading U.S. Federal Materials - Court Rules & Orders contains numerous federal rules databases.

Internet:

Many sources of federal procedural rules and related practice materials are available, including:

For an extensive list of federal practice materials, including treatises and form books owned by many law libraries, see the TMLL Guide to Legal Research "Federal Court Rules and Practice Materials."


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