Congress reformed the procedures for amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 1988 by prescribing greater public participation in the rules revision process. Since that time, the Advisory Committee on the Civil Rules, which has primary responsibility for studying the Rules and developing proposals for change in them, has examined several important Rules and made controversial recommendations for modifying those provisions. Although the Committee has assessed and suggested controversial revision in summary judgment and discovery, this article analyzes recent efforts of the Committee involving Rule 11, a provision that was fundamentally amended as recently as 1983.
Montana Rule 11 is modeled substantially on Federal Rule 11. Revision and implementation of procedural rules in Montana seem to track closely developments at the federal level, and significant change in Federal Rule 11 now appears imminent. It is important, therefore, to survey recent developments relating to Federal Rule 11, as they may well anticipate subsequent treatment of the corresponding Montana provision.
The first section briefly describes the developments that led to the 1983 amendment of Federal Rule 11 and to the 1984 revision of Montana Rule 11. The second part analyzes implementation of the Federal Rule that prompted the Advisory Committee to study the provision and make suggestions for change. The third segment assesses the Committee's study and its recommendations. Because the proposals are nascent, the paper attempts to identify how they will develop and what ultimately will result. The fourth section briefly considers the consequences in the federal sphere for Montana Rule 11 and offers suggestions for revising the provision.
Margaret L. Sanner & Carl Tobias, Recent Work of the Civil Rules Committee, 52 Mont. L. Rev. 307 (1991)