7th Circuit proposes modifications to Circuit Court Rules 46, 51

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(IL file photo)

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has proposed changes to Circuit Rules 46 and 51 concerning attorneys in the court and the duties of trial counsel in criminal cases.

The proposed changes tighten the language of the rules, offering more specific instructions on the duties and expectations of parties in the court.

Currently, Circuit Rule 46 states that the lead attorney for all parties represented by counsel in the Seventh Circuit and attorneys who too present an oral argument must be admitted to practice in the court within 30 days of docketing the matter in the court.

As part of the changes, the circuit court suggests altering the timing of admission to the court, proposing that lead attorneys for each party apply for admission to practice within 30 days from the docketing of the matter or 15 days from being retained or appointed as counsel.

Additionally, attorneys presenting an oral argument in the court must apply for admission before the filing of the appellee’s brief.

The circuit court also wants to move instructions concerning the duties, appointment and withdrawals of trial counsel in criminal cases from Rule 51 to Rule 46, creating a new section, Rule 46.1.

The rule instructs trial counsel on how they must represent defendants, as well as the eligibility defendants have for representation under the Criminal Justice Act.

With the change, Rule 51 would solely focus on notices of motions to dismiss pro se appeals and withdrawals of counsel if there are no non-frivolous grounds for appeal.

Written comments on the proposed changes should be sent to the following address by July 18:

Advisory Committee on Circuit Rules
c/o Clerk of Court
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
219 South Dearborn Street, Room 2722
Chicago, IL 60604

They can also be emailed to [email protected].

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