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Civil Procedure: Home

A guide designed for first year law students on the MU Law Library's resources regarding the Law of Civil Procedure.

Subject Explanation: Civil Procedure

Broadly speaking, civil procedure consists of the rules by which courts conduct civil trials. "Civil trials" concern the judicial resolution of claims by one individual or group against another and are to be distinguished from "criminal trials," in which the state prosecutes an individual for violation of criminal law.

"Procedure" is distinguished from "substantive law" in that substantive law defines the rights and duties of everyday conduct. Substantive law includes contract law, tort law, and so on.

A procedural system provides the mechanism for applying substantive law to real disputes. A good procedural system ensures that similar cases will be treated similarly by the courts.

In America, the federal courts follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; the state courts follow their own state rules of civil procedure.  However, the FRCPs only take up about one-third of the Civil Procedure course.

Text and links copied from LII's (Cornell University Law School) Civil Procedure page, with some well-founded edits from our faculty.  Links will take you to definitions and/or further explanations of the terms highlighted by Cornell Law.


CALI Tutorials

CALI Tutorials are interactive, computer-based lessons, written by law faculty and librarians.  The lessons and practice questions can be used as preparation for class or as review for an exam.  This link provides access to lessons for Civil Procedure. 

Exam Bank

Professors Dessem, Esbeck, and Oliveri all have sample exams listed in our online exam bank. Professor Esbeck has retired.

Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aids

DISCLAIMER:  Please remember that supplemental materials are meant to enhance, not replace, the assigned classroom material. If you have a question whether a particular supplement may be useful as a classroom or exam prep aid then ask your professor for guidance.  And, as always, you can ask a librarian for assistance.  More information regarding Mizzou Law Library online study aid subscriptions can be found here. 

Hard copies of many of the study aids listed below are located in the Reference Room on the first floor of the library.  Please note that the study aids online are generally more up to date than the hard copies.

West Academic Online Study Aids

West Academic Online Audio Resources

Westlaw Next

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and Commentary provides online access to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure along with additional explanation of each rule.

Lexis Advance

Moore's Manual: Federal Practice and Procedure provides online access to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and historical explanations.

Civil Procedure News