Our experts recommend
Pretrial procedures in civil cases primarily consist of notice, pleadings, discovery/depositions, and pretrial hearings. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) outlines pretrial rules and procedures in federal civil cases. State civil procedural rules often follow the FRCP, with variations made to accommodate state practices and court structure.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
According to the NCSC's The Landscape of Civil Litigation in State Courts (2015), civil caseloads in state courts are actually dominated by lower-value contract, debt collection, landlord/tenant, and small claims cases. Most cases are resolved administratively rather than through adversarial proceedings. Litigants represent themselves in more than three-quarters of these cases.
In 2008, the California Administrative Office of the Court’s Executive Office Programs Division commissioned the Center for Court Innovation to conduct a thorough needs assessment and analysis of best practices in promoting procedural fairness among the state’s civil and traffic cases. This report describes findings from over 20 site visits and nearly 50 stakeholder interviews along with a document and website review.
In June and July of 2010, IAALS conducted two surveys of Colorado legal professionals to examine Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 16.1 ("Rule 16.1"). Rule 16.1 sets forth a simplified pre-trial procedure for certain civil actions in Colorado District Court ("District Court"), the state trial court of general jurisdiction governed by the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure ("CRCP").
This database compiles state-by-state information about Case Processing Time Standards (CPTS) including Civil and how states monitor them.
Civil Section from State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting.
An article from Examining the Work of State Courts: An Analysis of 2016 State Court Caseloads. The Court Statistics Project collects and analyzes data relating to the work of our nation's courts.
Active for the last two decades, the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts comprises multiple iterations to examine and analyze civil litigation across the nation. The series allows for an in-depth look at civil trials over time, permitting researchers and policy makers to analyze trends.
This issue of Civil Action addresses questions such as: " "What Is Electronic Discovery?" and "How Does It Change the Discovery Process for Judges?"
This report is intended to help reduce the uncertainty in state court litigation by assisting trial judges in identifying the issues and determining the decision-making factors to be applied.