Monday, April 7, 2014

Keeping up with the Kentucky Supreme Court: Best Practice

The various Kentucky rules of practice and procedure are subject to change at any time. If a particular rule is of critical importance to a case, it is of critical importance that the current effective amended version of the rule be known.

The Kentucky Supreme Court amends the individual rules of practice and procedure from time to time, but the Kentucky Supreme Court does not maintain compilations of all the rules. Currently, that job is performed by West Publishing Company. West's collection of compiled Kentucky court rules can be found online here.  Not long ago, the Kentucky Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Association maintained online compilations of the Kentucky court rules, but not any more.

Naturally, there is a short time lag between when the Kentucky Supreme Court issues an amendment to the rules and when the amendment is incorporated into the compiled version of the rules. There is usually/sometimes/frequently a gap between the issuance of an amendment to the court rules and the effective date of the amendment, so relying upon the online compilation of the rules is usually/sometimes/frequently a safe thing to do. Emergency Orders take effect when entered. The West online compilation indicates how current the online version is.

Great. The online version is current through March 1 and today is April 7. What has the Kentucky Supreme Court been up to since March 1? It's no big secret. It is all online at the Kentucky Court of Justice website here and this is what it looks like:

. The amendments are numbered consecutively by year and here is a clear indication of the rule being amended. The amendments are available as PDF files. What is lacking on this page is the date the amendment was issued and the date the amendment takes effect. For that information, it is necessary to look to the amendment itself and open the PDF file. The effective date of the amendment is indicated on the first page, at least it is on this example. I'm guessing the Kentucky Supreme Court formats these amendments the same way every time.

  To find the entry date of the amendment, it is necessary to go to the last page.

Boring indeed, but important.

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