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Civil procedure is the mechanism by which a civil case proceeds in court. For the Federal Courts, this mechanism is mainly codified in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In this guide, you will find links to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other sources of law, commentary and analysis. You will find resources that will help keep you abreast of what's happening in civil litigation as well as study aids.
The Federal Courts' scope of power is laid out in Article III of the U.S. Constitution
The United States Code is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives.
This collection includes complete coverage of the United States Code dating back to inception in 1925-1926. Also includes the Early Federal Laws Collection, which represents the most complete collection of federal statute compilations prior to the US Code.
Annotated Versions of the Code are available from the following pay services:
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are also available in a free IOS app from lawstack.
The Federal Rules can also be found on Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg.
Rule Changes and Amendments
From time to time the Rules of Civil Procedure are amended. Proposed rules are evaluated by the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. The proposed rules are then subject to public notice and comment. If the Committee chooses they are recommended to the Supreme Court for approval.
This site from USCourts.gov lists proposed amendments that are available for public comment. To make comments the user is redirected to regulations.gov where public comments to proposed regulations are posted.
On this site users may view or comment upon proposed regulations including proposed amendments to the Federal Rules.
Finding other resources in the catalog.
Using our catalog you can find resources on civil procedure and any other topic. Here is a list of FAQs for the catalog.
The Rules of Civil Procedure are interpreted by the courts. Cases interpreting the various rules can be found in the usual places including Westlaw (which also includes the Federal Rules Decisions database, this database contains cases that deal specifically with civil procedure issues). Lexis and Bloomberg. Cases can also be found on the free internet at the following sites:
"provides Internet users with free case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog and twitterer databases, as well as additional community resources. Justia works with educational, public interest and other socially focused organizations to bring legal and consumer information to the online community"
Findlaw's legal edition provides access to federal and state statutes, regulations, and a growing number of federal cases and has cases for several states (limited coverage). Findlaw is useful because it may provide electronic access to legal decisions. Check the website for the scope of its case law coverage.