Civil procedure is a set of rules, standards, norms, and practices created by a society to provide for the authoritative resolution of disputes between private parties. The process of dispute resolution created by civil procedure serves well-articulated social goals. In American society today, as in the past, “sound judicial administration” is the most important social end civil procedure subserves. Informed by the felt necessities of time and place, sound judicial administration has had a specific meaning in the United States since the creation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the 1930s. The very first of these rules (rule 1) defines sound judicial administration as the “just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.” Conspicuously absent from this formulation is the social end that ...

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