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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Federal Rules of Evidence

The Federal Rules of Evidence are published as Title 28 of the United States Code, so you can find them in any paper or electronic, annotated or unannotated editions of the U.S. Code (See "United States Code"). Free unannotated editions are posted by the U.S. Courts and the Legal Information Institute, which also provides the Rules in eBook format. In addition, unannotated print versions are included in Federal Civil Judicial Procedure and Rules, O'Connor's Federal Rules (Jones McClure), the Federal Civil Rules Booklet (Dahlstrom), in the Rules pamphlet at the end of the Federal Procedure Rules Service (Thomson/West) and in the last volume of the Federal Rules of Evidence Service (Thomson/West).

You can search electronic versions of the Federal Rules of Evidence in their own file in the Lexis (GENFED;FRE). Westlaw includes the Federal Rules of Evidence in a database with the other Federal Rules (US-RULES). On Westlaw, you can use the format: "fi fre rule xxxx" to pull individual sections.

Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine The privilege and doctrine are discussed extensively in The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine (ABA Section of Litigation), as well as in the treatises mention in the "Treatises" section, below. The Federal Evidence Review post information on Rule 502, the key Federal attorney-client privilege and work product rule.

Case Law: You can find cases interpreting the Federal Rules of Evidence in the annotations to the Rules published in the United States Code Annotated or the United States Code Service. You can also find cases by Shepardizing the relevant sections of the Rules. Or you can use the the Federal Rules of Evidence Service (Thomson/West), a multi-volume set specifically designed for this purpose.

New Rules: Information on the rule-making process, as well as proposed and recently-approved changes to the Rules are posted by the Federal Judiciary.

In addition, new Rules and amendments are published in Federal Rules Decisions (Thomson/West) and included in Westlaw's US-ORDERS database.

Restyled Rules: A "Restyled" version of Federal Rules of Evidence will go into effect on December 1, 2011. According to the Commentary, "The Restyling effort provides consistent terminology, plain language, and generally makes the Evidence Rules more user-friendly." A booklet called Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence compares the old and new rules, with the official Commentary. The booklet is published as part of Weinstein's Federal Evidence (LexisNexis 2011).

States: You can look up which states have adopted the Federal Rules of Evidence in a table in the final volume of Weinstein's Federal Evidence (LexisNexis).

Treatises: The Federal Rules of Evidence are discussed extensively in Weinstein's Federal Evidence (Lexis), Moore's Federal Practice (Lexis) and Federal Practice and Procedure (Thomson/West).

See Also
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
Federal Court Rules
Federal Procedure Rules
United States Code

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman