The Fragmentation of Federal Rules
38 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2018
Date Written: 1995
This Article critiques the movement to localism in rulemaking. In doing so, we put largely to one side the very difficult and very controversial questions of whether there is a litigation "crisis" in the federal courts, whether procedural reform can or will address that crisis, and whether any particular procedure is a good one. Rather, our focus is on the somewhat more limited but perhaps ultimately most important question of whether it really is a good idea for every district court in the country to go its own way in developing civil process. Our answer, simply put, is no. The ill-considered and unmanaged proliferation of local rules is likely to exacerbate any problems there are with civil litigation. Different procedural rules will have an impact upon substantive justice. Varying procedures will lead to forum shopping, unnecessary cost, and widespread confusion. Amidst strong arguments against localism in rulemaking, there is almost no serious argument that supports it.
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