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WELCOME TO CIVIL PROCEDURE!. Prof. Susanna Frederick Fischer Columbus School of Law The Catholic University of America 202-319-5568 fischer@law.edu Class 1: 8/26/2002. THE STUDY OF LAW.

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welcome to civil procedure


Prof. Susanna Frederick Fischer

Columbus School of Law

The Catholic University of America

202-319-5568 fischer@law.edu

Class 1: 8/26/2002

the study of law
  • There was a man in our townand he was wondrous wise:he jumped into a BRAMBLE BUSHand scratched out both his eyes--and when he saw that he was blind,with all his might and mainhe jumped into another oneand scratched them in again
  • - Karl Llewellyn, The Bramble Bush (1960)
cua a community of scholars
  • Friendship
  • Food
  • Faculty
today s class
  • Learn what is Civil Procedure, what you’ll study, and why it’s an important and interesting course
  • Learn the course goals and objectives
  • Learn the course policies and procedures
  • Learn about the course web page at http://faculty.cua.edu/fischer
  • Learn about the scope and purpose of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by studying Rule 1 of the FRCP
what s civil procedure
What’s Civil Procedure?
  • CIVIL (not criminal)
  • PROCEDURE (not substantive)
difference between civil and criminal cases
Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases
  • Criminal cases are brought by the gov’t representing society
  • Criminal cases result in punishment (usually fine or imprisonment)
  • Civil cases can be between private parties and/or the government
  • Civil remedies include financial compensation (damages) or orders to do or stop doing something (injunctions) and sometimes punishment (punitive damages)
  • Different burdens of proof
substantive laws
  • Substantive laws (e.g. tort, contract, property) “are the part of the law that creates,defines, and regulates the rights, duties, and powers of parties” (Black’s Law Dictionary (7th ed. 1999)
  • Example: tort law (trespass) says that an uninvited guest cannot intrude on another person’s land
definition of procedure from merriam webster online
Definition of Procedure (from Merriam-Webster online)
  • 1(a) a particular way of accomplishing something or of acting (b) a step in a procedure
  • 2 (a) a series of steps followed in a regular definite order <legal procedure>
  • 3 (a) a traditional or established way of doing things
procedural laws
  • Procedural laws are “[t]he rules that prescribe the steps for having a right or duty judicially enforced, as opposed to the law that defines the specific rights or duties themselves.”
  • Thus, they are the rules that govern litigation. They are the rules that the parties must follow as they bring their case and also the rules for the court administration of the case
  • Examples: who can bring case, which court can hear a case, enforcement
difference between substantive and procedural law can be unclear
Difference Between Substantive and Procedural Law Can Be Unclear
  • Some rules that seem procedural have been deemed substantive by courts, such as statutes of limitations.
why is procedure important in law1
Why is Procedure Important in Law?
  • The purpose of civil procedure is to promote the JUST, SPEEDY, and INEXPENSIVE resolution of CIVIL DISPUTES
  • See Rule 1 of the Fed. R. Civ. P.
what kinds of procedures do courts and other dispute resolution bodies need these include
What Kinds of Procedures Do Courts and Other Dispute Resolution Bodies Need? These include:
  • Rules for jurisdiction (over defendant, over subject matter)
  • Rules for how disputes enter the court system
  • Rules for how what’s in actually in dispute is determined (pleading)
  • Rules for how disputes progress through the court (or tribunal) system
  • Rules for pretrial fact investigation (discovery)
  • Rules for how disputes are terminated (jury verdict? judge’s order? before trial? after trial?)
sources of procedure
Sources of Procedure
  • Legislation
  • Rules promulgated by the courts (include federal rules of general application such as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure; local rules for individual courts; judge’s rules; statutory rules in U.S. Code; state rules (in states’s statutes and/or as supplemental rules)
  • Cases that interpret the rules
federal rules of civil procedure
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Originally promulgated by U.S.Supreme Court in 1937 under authority of Rules Enabling Act of 1934
  • Original rules effective in 1938 and have been amended many times.
  • Advisory Committee on Civil Rules recommends amendments to FRCP
federal rulemaking frcp
Federal Rulemaking: FRCP
  • If Advisory Committee initially recommends changes, there is a public comment period/public hearings. If AC then approves, goes to Judicial Conference Standing Committee. If SC approves, goes to Judicial Conference. If JC approves, goes to U.S. Supreme Court.
  • After Supreme Court prescribes amendment, Congress has a statutory time period to enact legislation to reject, modify, defer amendment.
scope of the frcp
  • Where do these rules apply?
scope of the frcp1
  • Where do these rules apply?
  • Federal district courts
  • Exceptions in Rule 81 include bankruptcy proceedings to extent provided by Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, where prize proceedings in admiralty, certain statutory review procedures like reviewing orders of Secretary of Agriculture, proceedings to enforce orders of National Labor Relations Board
scope of frcp
  • In some circumstances, FRCP supplements statutory procedural scheme
  • What are some examples?
scope of frcp1
  • In some circumstances, FRCP supplements statutory procedural scheme
  • What are some examples? Habeas corpus proceedings, quo warranto proceedings, admission to citizenship proceedings, arbitration proceedings, proceedings for enforcement/review under Longshoreman’s and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act
the u s court system
The U.S. Court System
  • Separate STATE and FEDERAL court systems
  • Each STATE and D.C. has its own court system
how will we learn civil procedure
How Will We Learn Civil Procedure?
  • Using sample case files (in CB) as study tools, we’ll follow the path of a federal civil action from its beginning through trial, verdict, and enforcement of judgment
  • We’ll read important Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and important statutory provisions and, sometimes, state rules
  • We’ll read important court decisions (interpretation of rules/court-made doctrine)
  • We’ll apply rules and cases to hypothetical practice problems, like those in Glannon
what topics will we study see assignments list
What topics will we study? See Assignments List
  • 1. Introductory unit
  • 2. Pleading
  • 3. Joinder
  • 4. Discovery
  • 5. Right to Jury Trial, Jury Selection6. Bypassing the jury: other types of adjudication
  • 6. Verdicts, Judgments and Bypassing the Trier of Fact
  • 7. Jurisdiction and venue
  • 8. Preclusion
  • 9. Wrapping Things Up: Forum non conveniens, Erie doctrine, review
course objectives goals
Course Objectives/Goals
  • Learn important civil procedure concepts
  • Learn the procedural steps of a civil action in federal district court
  • Develop effective learning techniques, including briefing cases and understanding rules
  • Develop exam-taking and oral presentation skills