The Procedural Rules Governing the Civil Litigation Process

March 8, 2022
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The Procedural Rules Governing the Civil Litigation Process

The Procedural Rules Governing the Civil Litigation Process

I need support with this Philosophy question so I can learn better.

Discuss the major procedural rules governing the civil litigation process.

Discuss the ways disputes in standard business transactions can be resolved.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the types of alternative dispute resolution you learned from the reading material this week (arbitration, mediation, and negotiation)?

Civil procedure
The rules of every procedural system reflect choices between worthy goals. Different systems, for example, may primarily seek truth, or fairness between the parties, or a speedy resolution, or a consistent application of legal principles. Sometimes these goals will be compatible with each other, but sometimes they will clash. When this happens, the rules of the system reveal the priorities it has established among these values.

The world’s two most widely used procedural systems have developed different ways of implementing such choices. One system centralizes responsibility for developing and deciding disputes and maintaining some consistency in legal rules, giving primary responsibility to state officials—i.e., the judiciary. The other path decentralizes power, giving the parties and their representatives primary responsibility for presenting factual evidence and legal arguments to a judge and sometimes also a jury, whose role is generally restricted to deciding which party has presented the better argument. The first system, usually referred to as civil-law procedure, is often associated with Roman law. The second system, usually called common-law procedure, is often found in countries that derive their legal system from that of early modern England. Both systems have characteristic strengths and weaknesses. Civil-law procedure, emphasizing the responsibility of a professional judiciary, may reduce the likelihood that the outcome of lawsuits will turn on the wealth of the parties and increase the likelihood that outcomes and rules will remain consistent; the same characteristics, however, may leave the parties feeling that they have not been fairly heard and that the facts have not been adequately probed.

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Common-law procedure, emphasizing party control of litigation, may leave the parties more content that their particular dispute, in all its factual complexity, has been heard, is thriftier with governmental funds, and depends less on a specially trained judiciary. It may, however, lead the parties to spend large sums on litigation expenses and may result in legal rulings that are somewhat untidy and inconsistent.

Within these two broad family groupings, procedural systems must make other choices. Who will bear the cost of litigation? What depth of factual investigation characterizes ordinary litigation? How flexibly may claims and defenses be revised and how easily may additional parties be added? Once a lawsuit is concluded, how broadly does it preclude subsequent litigation between the parties? Each of these questions has specific, technical answers in any given legal system, answers that have changed over time and that collectively define the system’s contribution to the society in which it is embedded.

One seeking to compare the civil process of different legal cultures must also understand that procedural rules interact with choices about the shape of government, access to lawyers, the level of investment in the legal system, and the competence, honesty, and diligence of public officials. A procedural system can have fine rules but will not work well if judges are corrupt or officials refuse to enforce unpopular judgments. Conversely, diligent and honest officials and lawyers can compensate for suboptimal procedural regimes.

 

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