Courtesy of my partner, Steve Ludwig, we bring our loyal readers the following summary of amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that should be of importance to all litigators. (N.B.: The Rules of Civil Procedure for Delaware’s state courts are based on the federal rules, so this may be an indication of potential future changes in the Delaware rules.)
Effective December 1, 2009, the federal rules have been amended significantly to change the time-computation for purposes of responding to motions, filing appeals, etc. The days of excluding weekends and holidys in calculating the time to respond are over. The changes are designed to make the federal rules on calculating time periods simpler, clearer, and consistent. The principal innovation is to count all days, including intermediate weekends and holidays, in computing time periods under the procedural rules. In addition, all the deadlines in the rules were reviewed and most short periods were extended to offset the shift in the time-computation rules and to ensure that each period is reasonable.
Further information on the time-computation rules amendments and parallel changes to certain statutory time periods affecting court proceedings can be found in the excerpt reports of the Rules Committees, which are posted on the Rules web site at: http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/supct0309.html and at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/HR1626.pdf.
Separate PowerPoint presentations explaining the amended time computation rules and their operation in appellate, bankruptcy and district court proceedings are posted at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/presentations.html.
THESE NEW RULES ARE EFFECTIVE NOW and apply to all pending cases.