Various federal rules were amended, all effective December 1, 2020. Below is a summary of each. To review the full text and redline versions of these rules as well as the accompanying committee notes, please visit https://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/current-rules-practice-procedure.
Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 35 and 40 were amended to create length limits for responses to petitions for rehearing. The previous versions of these rules created limits for the petitions themselves but not the responses to the petitions for rehearing. The amendment to Rule 40(a)(3) also changes the term “answer” to “response” to be consistent with Rule 35.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6), the rule addressing deposition notices or subpoenas directed to an organization, was amended to respond to problems that have emerged in some cases regarding the overlong or ambiguously worded lists of matters for examination and inadequately prepared witnesses. The amendment to Rule 30(b)(6) directs the serving party and the named organization to confer before or promptly after the notice or subpoena is served about the matters for examination. The amendment also requires the subpoena to notify a nonparty organization of its duty to confer and to designate each person who will testify.
Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) was amended. This rule governs the admissibility of evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts. The amendment to Evidence Rule 404(b) requires the prosecutor to describe in the notice “the permitted purpose for which the prosecutor intends to offer the evidence and the reasoning that supports the purpose.” The amendment deleted the requirement that the defendant request notice and instead requires the prosecution to provide notice as a matter of routine, if applicable. The amendment restyled the phrase “crimes, wrongs, or other acts” to its original form, “other crimes, wrongs, or acts,” to clarify this Rule applies to crimes, wrongs, or acts other than those charged.