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About the Book

Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice

Front Cover - Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice

Fourth Edition

Linda J. Silberman
New York University

Allan R. Stein
Rutgers University—Camden

Tobias Barrington Wolff
University of Pennsylvania

2013. Approx. 1,200 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-2270-7. With Teacher’s Manual.

About the Book

Using the Socratic method, Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice helps students develop strategic, critical thinking, with introductory text, examples, and hypotheticals that equip them for the challenges of practice. Sophisticated yet straightforward, the text strikes an important balance, providing clear exposition while requiring work to achieve deeper insights. An opening chapter gives an overview of the entire process, using real pleadings and discovery materials in the landmark N.Y. Times v. Sullivan case. The innovative “Anatomy of a Litigation” case study chapter systematically leads students from pleadings to verdict, using leading cases to deepen the connection between the classroom and the courtroom. Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice covers the full range of topics, including in-depth treatment of personal and subject-matter jurisdiction, joinder, preclusion, and alternative dispute resolution. Accessible background material for each major case facilitates analysis, and extensive notes and questions frame deep, conceptual issues. The text keys in on leading and high-interest cases, edited for best effect. Its flexible organization supports myriad approaches to the 1L Procedure class, from a three-unit one-semester class to a five- or six-unit class taught over either a semester or a year.


The Fourth Edition features treatment of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on general jurisdiction and stream-of-commerce in products liability cases, reflecting the doctrinal and theoretical questions that the Court has brought to the fore. The new edition looks at class actions and complex litigation such as the impact of Wal-Mart v. Dukes and the first wave of post-Dukes cases in the lower federal courts, as it continues its signature coverage of the Class Action Fairness Act. The Fourth Edition debuts an extensive treatment of the impact of the Federal Arbitration Act and recent decisions on arbitration by the Supreme Court that alter the availability of remedies for consumer plaintiffs. Other new material explores summary judgment, analyzing the recent amendments to Rule 56, and Erie and the Rules Enabling Act with a thorough treatment of Shady Grove, the Court’s first major statement on the meaning, scope and operation of the Rules Enabling Act in decades.

Hallmark features of Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice:

  • Socratic method encourages thought, with introductory text, examples, and hypotheticals
  • sophisticated and straightforward—clear exposition while requiring work to achieve deeper insights
  • opening overview of entire civil litigation process
    o uses landmark N.Y. Times v. Sullivan case
    o real pleadings and discovery materials introduce basic elements of civil litigation
  • innovative “Anatomy of a Litigation” case study
    o students systematically move through the process from pleadings to verdict
    o uses major cases as teaching tools
    o lead students through a fact-intensive case study to apply lessons learned
    o deepens the connection between the classroom and the courtroom
  • comprehensive coverage
    o full range of Civil Procedure topics
    o in-depth treatment of personal and subject-matter jurisdiction, joinder, preclusion, and alternative dispute resolution
  • accessible background material for each major case to facilitate analysis
  • extensive notes and questions
    o frame deep, conceptual issues 
    o provide the beginning of the answer
    o students have a starting point to develop strategic and critical thinking skills
  • excellent case selection includes leading cases and high-interest cases
  • flexible organization
    o supports a 3-unit 1-semester class to a 5- or 6-unit class
    o taught over a semester or a year

Thoroughly revised, the Fourth Edition presents updated material on:

  • personal jurisdiction
    o comprehensive treatment of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on general jurisdiction and stream-of-commerce in
       products liability cases
    o restructured chapter reflects the doctrinal and theoretical questions that the Court has brought to the fore
  • class actions and complex litigation
    o examines the impact of Wal-Mart v. Dukes on class action litigation
    o included the first wave of post-Dukes cases in the lower federal courts
    o comprehensive coverage of the Class Action Fairness Act
  • ADR and class arbitration
    o new and extensive treatment of the impact of the Federal Arbitration Act
    o recent decisions on arbitration by the Supreme Court that alter the availability of remedies for consumer plaintiffs
  • summary judgment
    o analyzes the recent amendments to Rule 56
    o shows the practical implications of the revisions for summary judgment practice
  • Erie and the Rules Enabling Act
    o a thorough treatment of Shady Grove, the Court’s first major statement on the Rules Enabling Act in decades