Change promotes 'consistency' New federal filing deadline law goes into effect

By Dolan Media Newswires

A law lengthening several statutory deadlines under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure went into effect recently.

The Statutory Time Periods Amendments Act of 2009 creates a consistent method of calculating time periods throughout the federal rules.

The new method counts every day, instead of the current method of excluding weekends and holidays for some periods but not others.

Most of the changes lengthen time periods by a few days, to offset the effect of counting weekends and holidays. The new law also calls for time periods of less than 30 days to be expressed in seven-day multiples for simplicity and ease of application.

The law was passed earlier this year in response to amendments, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States, that simplify the formula for calculating filing deadlines under the federal rules, making the rules more consistent.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a sponsor of the bill, said the amendments would have had the unintended consequence of shortening filing deadlines in some matters. The new law offsets those effects, he said.

Published: Mon, Jan 4, 2010

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