Federal Rules Of Evidence

Federal Rules of Evidence in the United States

Legal Materials

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 theU.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 ofWeinstein’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

  • Shepardizing
  • Ethical issues
  • Evidence
  • Expert witnesses
  • Frye standard
  • Forensics
  • Grand Jury
  • Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
  • Federal Court Rules
  • Federal Procedure Rules
  • United States Code
  • Rulings on forensic evidence

Further Reading (Books)

Further Reading (Articles)

FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE 413-415 AND THE STRUGGLE FOR RULEMAKING PREEMINENCE, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology; October 1, 2007; Cavallaro, Rosanna

Federal Rules of Evidence 413-415 and the Struggle for Rulemaking Preeminence, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology; September 22, 2007; Cavallaro, Rosanna

New Federal Rule Of Evidence 502 And Possible Litigation Document Review Cost Savings. Mondaq Business Briefing; October 2, 2008

Amended Federal Rule of Evidence 408: Trapping the Unwary, The Review of Litigation; April 1, 2007; Weninger, Robert A.

An Unredeemed Promise: How Courts Can Prevent Offensive Collateral Estoppel from Undercutting the Policy Goals of Amended Federal Rule of Evidence 408, Northwestern University Law Review; October 1, 2008; Selinger, Elias C.

Non-identical twins: the Illinois and Federal Rules of evidence: though the Illinois Rules of Evidence are modeled on the Federal Rules of Evidence, important differences between the two limit the persuasive power of federal precedents in Illinois. Illinois Bar Journal; December 1, 2010; Parness, Jeffrey A.

New federal rule of evidence 502 seeks to strengthen attorney-client privilege and work product protections. Mondaq Business Briefing; November 10, 2008

The Federal Rules of Evidence and Daubert: Evaluating Real Property Valuation Witnesses. Appraisal Journal; July 1, 2000; Dorchester Jr., John D.

Conditional probative value and the reconstruction of the Federal Rules of Evidence.(response to Richard D. Friedman, Michigan Law Review, vol. 93, p. 439, Dec. 1994), Michigan Law Review; November 1, 1995; Nance, Dale A.

New Federal Rule Of Evidence Simplifies Complex Privilege Issues Associated With E-Discovery. Mondaq Business Briefing; October 21, 2008; Garvey, Christopher J. Goldstone, David J. Levy, Ira J. Nemser, Paul E. Sharton, Brenda R. Sheehan, William F.

Applying Federal Rule of Evidence 407 in Strict Liability: A Discussion of Changes to the Rule, The Review of Litigation; July 1, 1997; Vinson, Eric L.

Federal rules of evidence manual; a complete guide to the Federal rules of evidence, 10th ed.; 6v.(Brief article)(Book review), Reference & Research Book News; June 1, 2012

Juror Testimony of Racial Bias in Jury Deliberations: United States V. Benally and the Obstacle of Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b), Brigham Young University Law Review; January 1, 2010; Pond, Brandon C.

States Adopting Federal Rules of Evidence Sometimes Add Their Own Variations, Mondaq Business Briefing; May 6, 2014; Spahn, Thomas

The land mine of the Federal Rules of Evidence – Rule 806. Florida Bar Journal; June 1, 1999; Eiglarsh, Mark R.

Tip of the Month: Managing Discovery Risks Using Federal Rule of Evidence 502. Mondaq Business Briefing; September 1, 2009

Turning out the “Light of Reason and Experience”: The Selective Waiver Doctrine and Proposed Federal Rule of Evidence 502, St. John’s Law Review; October 1, 2007; Lambert, Michelle

The Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence, William and Mary Law Review; April 1, 2012

Federal Rules of Evidence and the Financial Professional: Greater Control in the Courtroom on Testimony by Experts, The CPA Journal; January 1, 1999; Love, Vincent J. Goldwasser, Dan L.

Federal rules of evidence; rules, legislative history, commentary, and authority, 6th ed.(Brief article)(Book review), Reference & Research Book News; August 1, 2010

Federal Rules Of Evidence: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Federal Rules Of Evidence. This part provides references, in relation to Federal Rules Of Evidence, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Federal Rules Of Evidence by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Federal Rules Of Evidence and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Federal Rules Of Evidence or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Federal Rules Of Evidence and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Federal Rules Of Evidence. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Federal Rules Of Evidence should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Federal Rules Of Evidence when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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