West has published a new book on federal standards of appellate review: H. Edwards and L. Elliot, Edwards and Elliott’s Federal Courts – Standards of Review: Appellate Court Review of District Court Decisions and Agency Actions (West 2007).
Here’s the description from the book’s page at the West website:
This sophisticated but easy to understand exposition of the standards of review offers an invaluable resource for law students, law clerks, and practitioners. Decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals invariably are shaped by the applicable standards of review. “Fill[ing] a huge gap in the literature,” Standards of Review masterfully explains the standards controlling appellate review of district court decisions and agency actions. Leading academics have described the text as a “superb treatment, clear and comprehensive, of a crucial aspect of every appellate case,” that “makes accessible even the most complex doctrines of review.”
Of course, the Ninth Circuit has its own nifty research guide for standards of review, which serves as an excellent starting point for appeals to the Ninth. It is downloadable as three separate PDF files here.
Legal Writing Prof Blog links to and posts the abstract of a law review article in which the author contends that the “opacity and unaccountability” resulting from non-publication of district court opinions creates serious problems by preventing the true state of the law from being known, subjecting it to manipulation, and distorting its development.
Civil Procedure Prof Blog links to a letter/white paper from Professor Jeff Parker of George Mason University School of Law, in which he asks Congress to delay implementation of the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The amendments are intended largely as a “re-styling” of the rules without substantive change, but Professor Parker’s not so sure. Here’s an excerpt from the abstract:
I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but this year’s pending amendments also are extraordinary, as they will completely re-write each and every provision of the Civil Rules for the first time in their 70-year history. More fundamentally, they adopt a novel concept of rule interpretation – what one of the proponents calls “clarity without change” – that is antithetical to our jurisprudence and likely to produce disarray in the procedural system.
There is a substantial body of opinion, in which I join, that the proposed amendments are likely to produce a material degradation of civil justice in our federal courts by imposing enormous burdens of transitional cost, in exchange for little or no benefit. Perhaps more importantly, there is no indication that the judicial rulemaking committees have fully considered the potential consequences of these sweeping changes.
For some of that “substantial body of opinion,” see links in prior posts here and here.