Rules consolidation is long overdue.
There are just three types of Rules.
First, there are the Court Practice Rules. These include the MRCP, MRE, and MRAP. These are not likely candidates for consolidation.
Second, there are the Court Administration Rules. These include:
- Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court Practice
- Uniform Chancery Court Rules
- Uniform Rules of Procedure for Justice Court
- Uniform Rules of Youth Court Practice
- Court Annexed Mediation Rules for Civil Litigation
- Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings
- Appellate E-Filing Administrative Procedures
- Administrative Procedures For Mississippi Electronic Courts
These need to be consolidated. Is there any reason the Circuit, County, Chancery, Youth and Justice Courts can’t have one “uniform” set of Rules. Do we need separate rules for MEC and Appellate E-Filing? This raises another question – why do we have two different systems?
Third, there are the Professional Conduct Rules. These include.
- Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct
- Rules of Discipline for the Mississippi State Bar
- Mississippi Rules and Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
- Rules Governing Admission to the Mississippi Bar
- Code of Judicial Conduct
- Rules of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance
- Rules and Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education
- Rules and Regulations Governing Certified Court Reporters
- Rules and Regulations for Certification and Continuing Education for Mississippi Court Administrators
- Rules of the Mississippi Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program
Surely we could consolidate these rules.
In my opinion, we should have one set of Court Rules. Any special rules can be included as different sections within the rules. A truly “unified” set of rules would be less voluminous and easier to read.