The Federal Circuit has proposed a set of about two-dozen amendments to its Rules of Practice. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2071(b), the court is required to provide "public notice and an opportunity for comment." Any comments on the rules are due to the Federal Circuit clerk by November 5, 2009. Below, I discuss some of the proposed changes.
Rules 8(d) and 18(d) Stays Pending Appeal: Often a losing party will almost simultaneously ask both the district court and the appellate court to stay injunctive relief pending appeal. The proposed rule would require the movant to identify "when it filed the motion in the district court [or agency] and why it is not practicable to await a ruling by the district court on that motion." The purpose of this rule is to help the appellate court avoid unnecessarily stepping on the toes of the district court judges.
Rule 21 Mandamus: Because the court often acts quickly in Mandamus actions, any reply brief "should be expedited if appropriate" or else the "court may act on the petition before the receipt of any reply." The Federal Circuit has been receiving a marked increase in the number of mandamus requests in the wake of its TS Tech decision where the court ordered a case moved out of the Eastern District of Texas.
Rule 29 Amicus Brief: Rule 29 is amended to clarify that a third party filing an amicus brief does not need to file a motion for leave to file if "all parties consented to the filing."
Caution for those using USPS: If your document "must be received by the court on a particular date, then the file might consider using an alternative method of delivering the document to the court, such as a commercial carrier or hand-delivery. The court cannot waive the deadlines for filing a notice of appeal or petition for review, even if the document was deposited in the mail in a timely fashion."