Federal Circuit Rules Changes? Speak Now!

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on December 17, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Federal Circuit recently released a proposed set of amendments to the Federal Circuit Rules of Practice and Procedure that are expected to be a major overhaul of the current rules. The rules are about 60 pages long and the edits themselves compose about six pages worth of red-lining and changes.

For those who have any interest in giving their input, you have till January fourth to comment on the proposed amendments.

The Highlights

The following is part of a non-comprehensive list of some of the proposed changes that should be of major interest prepared by the Federal Circuit Bar Association Rules Committee.

  • Modifications to "tightly limit confidential material," including the addition of a 15-word limit -- any higher than that number will require a motion.
  • "Extensive" overhauls of Rule 15 regarding discrimination after the SCOTUS decision of Kloeckner v. Solis.
  • Amendment to rules regarding attorney appearances, including changes to procedure in dealing with "late" appearances or changes to presentations.
  • Revisions of practice notes to Rule 28 to expressly permit that the claim-in-issue be reproduced on the inside cover of a filed brief; and to clarify its impact on the word count (yes, you read that right).
  • Changes to procedural rules regulating oral arguments, timing of notices of conflict, and rules governing visual aids.

... Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Practitioners should submit their comments or complaints by email and submit them to chiefdeputyclerk@cafc.uscourts.gov with the subject line "PROPOSED RULES COMMENTS." The Federal Circuit Court requests that you "clearly indicate" at the beginning of each comment the rule being commented upon. Also, it's requested that you include a return email address.

All comments must be received by close of business, Monday, January 4th, 2016.

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