For a number of years, I have pushed for the consolidation of the Rules. I believe the volume of the Rules (21) prevents a clear understanding and consistent application of the Rules.
The first thing we need to do is decide what is the purpose of the various Rules. Then we need to determine whether we can group the Rules according to purpose.
As an example, the Mississippi Court Rules should include the following:
1. Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court Practice;
2. Uniform Chancery Court Rules;
3. Uniform Rules of Procedure for Justice Court;
4. Uniform Rules of Youth Court Practice;
5. Court Annexed Mediation Rules for Civil Litigation; and
6. Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings.
I would consider adding the Mississippi Electronic Courts Administrative Procedures and the Appellate E-Filing Administrative Procedures. If we kept these separate, the Rules of Court should reference these electronic filing procedures.
Next, the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct should include the following:
1. Mississippi Rules and Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education;
2. Rules Governing Admission to the Mississippi Bar,
3. Code of Judicial Conduct,
4. Rules of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance,
5. Rules and Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education,
6. Rules and Regulations Governing Certified Court Reporters,
7. Rules and Regulations for Certification and Continuing Education for Mississippi Court Administrators, and
8. Rules of the Mississippi Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program.
Since I would not touch the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, the Mississippi Rules of Evidence or the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure, my proposal would leave 5 or maybe 6 sets of rules. The consolidated Rules would be modified to remove any unnecessary duplication and leave important Rules for various courts in sections dedicated to those courts.
What are your thoughts?