Some of the most critical aspects of the civil justice process are the rules of civil procedure. As the name implies, this refers to the “procedure” that parties and their lawyers must follow when working through the system. These rules are critical, intricate, and often shape the outcome of a case. Yet, most members of the public are unfamiliar with how it all works. That unfamiliarity is a key reason why the legal process can seem confusing and contradictory.
In other words, proving liability is one part of the process–collecting evidence and presenting it such that a judge or jury issues a judgement in favor of the plaintiff. But in reaching that point, many different rules must be followed–deadlines, paperwork requirements, and so on. The same procedural rules affect cases that end in settlement, before an actual trial.
Considering the importance of procedure, those seeking to influence the justice system often seek to alter procedural laws. In this way, the system can be made better (or worse) for all cases, regardless of actual liability issues.