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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

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Court Rules

Posted by Library Blog on 04/18/2013 at 01:22 PM

A practicing attorney’s toolkit should contain the court rules for the jurisdictions in which she is practicing.  Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis publish compilations of state and federal court rules. In addition to the text of the rules, there may be Committee/Reporter/Compiler Notes offering a “legislative history” of the rule.  The “Notes” typically indicate an adoption of or a variation from the federal rule and might contain references to case law that prompted a revision to the rule.  As these are annotated publications, there will be “Notes of Decisions” to cases in which the Court has interpreted an individual rule.  In addition to court rules, these publications contain the state’s rules of professional conduct and its judicial code of conduct.  If you are litigating in a federal district court or bankruptcy court, you will have to become familiar with that court’s local rules which are included in these published compilations.  Local federal court rules are often also available from the court’s website.

For state courts rules, check to see if a law library in your jurisdiction has them available on their website.  For example, the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries’ website has downloadable and searchable Court Rules EBooks  with navigation aids and links.  The ebooks are updated when rules or other publications are amended.  You can even sign up to be notified when a new version is available.  Another example is the Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries which offers via its website the Connecticut Judicial Branch Practice Book containing current court rules and the official Connecticut Code of Evidence

If you want just the text of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Criminal Procedure or Civil Procedure, you can download them from the CALI eLangdell Bookstore for free!  Click on the book’s cover for information on downloading to your computer or mobile device.