The Florida Bar

The Federal Corner Announcements

You are encouraged to provide feedback concerning local rules and the CM/ECF system in the federal courts in Florida. If you would like to submit a comment concerning a local rule or the CM/ECF system, please submit the comment to Your comments will be anonymously shared with the leadership of the Federal Court Practice Committee.

The United States Sentencing Commission has published its proposed amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines for 2015. Public comment on the proposed amendments is due no later than March 18, 2015. A "reader-friendly” version of the proposed amendments is available here.

Of note, the Commission has been studying the Guidelines governing fraud offenses under §2B1.1, and as a result has proposed amendments to target intended loss, the sophisticated means enhancement, the treatment of victims in the fraud guideline, and the functioning of the guideline for fraud on the market cases.

The Commission has also proposed amending the drug guideline under §2D1.1 in response to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s rescheduling of hydrocodone, such that hydrocodone guideline levels would be proportionate with those for oxycodone.

Again, written public comment regarding the proposed amendments, including public comment regarding retroactive application of any of the proposed amendments, must be received by the Commission not later than March 18, 2015. The public notice is available at External Link

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment. The proposed amendments, Rules Committee reports explaining the proposed changes, and other information are posted on the judiciary’s website. External Link The public comment period ends February 17, 2015.

Currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Judicial Conference's recommended amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Procedure, as well as amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence. External Link

Congress has taken no action on the amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy and Criminal Procedure approved by the Supreme Court on April 23, 2012, and transmitted to Congress on April 24, 2012. Under the Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2071-75, the following amendments take effect on December 1, 2012:

• Bankruptcy Rules 1007, 2015, 3001, 7054 and 7056; and • Criminal Rules 5 and 15, and new Rule 37.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2074(a) and the Supreme Court orders dated April 23, 2012, the amendments will govern all proceedings commenced on or after December 1, 2012, and all proceedings then pending “insofar as just and practicable.”

The text of the amended rules and extensive supporting documentation can be found on the Judiciary’s Federal Rules of Practice & Procedure website.

The approved legislative changes to the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee are available for review.PDF document opens in new window The Florida Bar mandates that, before consideration by the Board of Governors and then the legislature, the proposed legislative changes must be circulated among the Bar committees and sections for comment. Please provide comments to Committee Chair, Melanie Damian.

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[Revised: 02-03-2015]