Global Civil Procedure Trends in the Twenty-First Century

27 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2011 Last revised: 12 Nov 2012

See all articles by Scott Dodson

Scott Dodson

UC Law, San Francisco

James Klebba

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Date Written: January 26, 2011


Recent scholarship regarding comparative civil procedure has identified "American exceptionalism" to emphasize practices which set the U.S. apart from most of the world - particularly the civil law world. This article focuses on two areas of "exceptionalism," namely, differences in pleading standards and the role and status of judges. We trace some modern trends in these areas toward convergence. With regard to pleading standards, two recent Supreme Court cases, Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, have moved U.S. pleading standards toward the rest of the world. With regard to judicial roles, convergence has been bilateral, with American judges becoming more "managerial" particularly in big cases, and with European judges giving lawyers more responsibilities for presenting the case. Other trends have had the effect of conferring a larger degree of discretion on civil law judges and at the same time increasing their prestige and visibility toward the level that American judges enjoy. The final focus of the article is on the degree to which, from the perspective of the American procedural system, these recent trends might promise opportunities for improvement on the one hand or unwelcome disruption on the other hand.

Keywords: Iqbal, Twombly, civil procedure, comparative, civil law, managerial, convergence, exceptionalism, decodification, globalization, globalisation

Suggested Citation

Dodson, Scott and Klebba, James, Global Civil Procedure Trends in the Twenty-First Century (January 26, 2011). Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 35, 2011, William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-68, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Research Paper No. 2011-11, Available at SSRN:

Scott Dodson (Contact Author)

UC Law, San Francisco ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
415-581-8959 (Phone)


James Klebba

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law ( email )

7214 St. Charles Ave., Box 901
Campus Box 901
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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