Federal Civil Rules Handbook: 1997.

 
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by Steven Baicker-McKee, William Janssen, and John B. Corr Reviewed by Nancy C. Wear

New to federal practice? Been away from the federal Rules of Civil Procedure for a while? This is the book for you. Concise, up-to-date, and packed with helpful advice, this is a one-volume pamphlet that is reasonable to buy, and will return the price to the practitioner a hundredfold the first year, in terms of time saved and pitfalls avoided. It is re-issued annually, with current rules, author discussions, and citations.

This reviewer, a veteran trial and appellate practitioner in state courts with little experience in the federal trial courts, bought the book some months ago, after finding research via the federal digest and United States Code Annotated difficult and time-consuming for one not fully familiar with the federal civil rules. Now scarcely a week goes by without recourse to this manual, especially Part III, where each rule (whose text is reproduced in easy-to-read large type) is followed by a section-by-section discussion under headings of "Purpose and Scope," "Core Concepts," and "Applications." Footnotes direct the researcher to citations to cases (with brief facts) which highlight the way the courts actually interpret the particular rule. As well, the authors alert the practitioner to "disfavored" and "recommended" practices. Summary judgment, preliminary injunctions, discovery: It's all there, in a form that fits on desk or credenza for ready reference.

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