Federal Rules, Local Rules, and State Rules: Uniformity, Divergence, and Emerging Procedural Patterns
54 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2012
Date Written: 1989
This article was presented at the Northeastern University School of Law conference on October 7 and 8, 1988 commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. First, I examine the arguments advanced for uniformity and the responses of Thomas Walsh and Connor Hall. Then I examine the effect on procedural uniformity of federal local rules and state reluctance to adopt the federal rules. In doing so, we will rediscover the apparent intractability of problems in the search for a sensible procedural system, and the folly of "quick fix" procedural solutions. Moreover, there are other important lessons to learn for those who think that bringing the rule of fair and compassionate laws to bear on the human experience in a predictable and efficient manner is a worthy goal. The local rule and state divergence from procedural uniformity suggests that, without fanfare, we have already taken our first tentative steps into a new era in American civil procedure.
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