The Rules – Mistakes (Part 1)

When the Miss. Supreme Court adopted the rules in the 1980’s, the Mississippi Rules were consistent with or very similar to their Federal counterparts.

Mississippi’s Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure were different than their Federal counterparts only where we wanted them to be different.

This year, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee completed a “restyle” of the MRE to be similar to the FRE. The Supreme Court quickly adopted the restyled rules. Wise decision, but will require some work for us older lawyers.

The Court has been on a year long MRCP Revision Project. They have sought input from the members of the Bar. This project, in my opinion, should have been submitted to the Civil Rules Advisory Committee. The MRCP have not kept up with the changes from the FRCP.

I recommend the Supreme Court submit all proposed revisions to the Civil Rules Advisory Committee, and let that outstanding group of lawyers, judges and professors do the work.

I am a firm believer that the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure should be consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, except where we want to be different. The MRCP should include an appendix to identify each difference.

I also believe that Mississippi should plan for amendments on the same schedule as the Federal Rules amendments – every two years. The Supreme Court should respect lawyers enough not to issue Rules changes throughout the year. In 2016 to date, there have been 9 amendments, with more to come.

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