Revisiting Procedural Conformity Statutes

Western State University Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1

28 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2008

See all articles by Thomas O. Main

Thomas O. Main

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law


This piece is a part of a symposium about state civil procedure. I suggest that states could enact statutes conforming state civil procedure to federal civil procedure. I consider the merits of procedural conformity statutes, and begin to unpack the reasons for the resistance to such reforms. I suggest that one strand of that resistance may be traceable to an oft-repeated historical narrative that recounts the failure of conformity statutes. Under various process acts between 1789 and 1938, federal court procedure in law cases was governed by the procedural rules of the state court in which the federal court sat. Ultimately replaced by a set of uniform Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, conformity statutes have since been in disrepute. My narrow effort here is to demonstrate that the pathogens of the earlier conformity regime would not similarly infect a state statute conforming state procedure to the federal model.

Keywords: Confirmity, Uniformity, Civil Procedure, State Procedure

JEL Classification: K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Main, Thomas O., Revisiting Procedural Conformity Statutes. Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1. Available at SSRN:

Thomas O. Main (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States
702-895-2927 (Phone)
702-895-2482 (Fax)

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