What Makes A Student's Guide to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Different (and, why it helps give your students an edge in learning Civil Procedure):
Rules PLUS Commentary: Most Rules Supplements available to students are austere reprints of the Rules, selected U.S.C. sections, and the Constitution. But what students often find challenging, and what is less likely to be found in either the casebook or a conventional study aid, is a Rule-by-Rule dissection of language and meaning. Students may feel themselves comfortable with big-picture concepts addressed by the Rules, but less comfortable on the Rules' practical application. The commentary in A Student's Guide helps fill that gap and manage that natural student apprehension. Treating the Rules in order, students are given the full Rule text, followed by the Purpose & Scope of that Rule, followed by the Core Concept of each Rule sub-part, followed lastly by extensive practitioner-developed analyses and discussions of that Rule subpart in application. It is a level of Rule-based analysis found in few other student materials.
Distillation of Core Federal Practice Concepts: Because many of the related core concepts of federal practice are an amalgam of law found in Rules, statutes, constitutional provisions, and caselaw, A Student's Guide tries to bridge that gulf with quick, orienting discussions of central practice concepts like personal jurisdiction, in rem jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, removal, venue, forum non conveniens, the Erie Doctrine, claim preclusion, and issue preclusion. These distillations allow students, struggling to make applied sense of Rules-based concepts, to acquire a bit more broadened view of how the Rules fit within those related practice contexts.
Interpretative Case Law: Also unlike most other Rules Supplements, A Student's Guide offers students a strong introduction to the interpretative case law analyzing the Rules and their subparts. This, then, converts this Rules Supplement into a finding aid, of sorts, for students as they work through applied problems in the context of the Rules. The case law is extensive (though introductory), and very current. This edition of A Student's Guide, for example, contains nearly 1,200 new citations to primary authoritiesmost of which were decided within the past 12 months. The current edition also contains fulsome discussions of both Twombly and Iqbal, as well as the Supreme Court's recent personal jurisdiction opinions (Goodyear and J. McIntyre Machinery), and the recent class action ruling (WalMart v. Dukes).
The January 2012 Federal Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act: This edition of A Student's Guide also contains the full text of the JVCA which became effective in January 2012, with both the full statutory text of the new law and analytical discussions of the new Act in application.