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About the Book

Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice, 5E

Front Cover - Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice, 5E

Fifth Edition


Linda J. Silberman
New York University

Allan R. Stein
Rutgers University

Tobias Barrington Wolff
University of Pennsylvania

2017. Approx. 1,296 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-7573-4. 

Click here to access the Fourth Edition. 

About the Book

Using the Socratic method, Civil Procedure: Theory and Practicehelps 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.

Hallmark features of Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice:

  • Socratic method—encourages thought, with introductory text, examples, and hypotheticals, and provides students  with a starting point to develop strategic and critical thinking skills
  • Sophisticated yet straightforward, clear exposition—requiring work to achieve deeper insights
  • Comprehensive coverage includes full range of Civil Procedure topics
  • Opening overview of entire civil litigation process
  • Traditional, comprehensive doctrinal coverage integrated with contextual, strategic lawyering perspectives
  • Flexible organization—supports a 3-unit 1-semester class to a 5- or 6-unit class; can be taught over a semester or a year
  • Clear overview of civil litigation process—illuminates connection between classroom and courtroom and helps frame deep, conceptual issues
  • Straightforward overview of the litigation process
  • Excellent case selection, including both bedrock (e.g. N.Y. Times v. Sullivan) and high-interest cases; carefully edited to provide students a range of analytical experiences and to serve as teaching tools
  • Real pleadings and discovery materials introduce basic elements of civil litigation
  • Innovative and fact-intenstive “Anatomy of a Litigation” case study allows students to apply lessons learned 
  • Students systematically move through the process from pleadings to verdict
  • Extensive notes and questions help facilitate analysis 
  • In-depth treatment of personal and subject-matter jurisdiction, joinder, preclusion, and alternative dispute resolution
  • Helpful Teacher’s Manual with sample syllabi and suggestions on course structuring 

Thoroughly updated, the Fifth Edition presents:

  • “Notice of motion” requirement under Pennsylvania law
  • Updates on Rule 11’s certification requirement
  • New cases, including AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion
  • Expanded materials:
o Preclusion and public law litigation
o Voluntary dismissals under Rule 41(a) 
o Defining the transaction/occurrence for permissive joinder
o Mass action provision -- 28 U.S.C. §1332(d)(11)
o Federal Arbitration Act in Ch.10 (ADR)
o Subsidiary findings  in Ch.9 (Appeals)

  • Consolidating power of the Multidistrict Litigation statute
  • New sections in Ch.8 (Joinder): Notice and Opt Out section (Rule 23), and The Role of “Exit” and “Voice” in the Class Action
  • Materials on class certification and the “fraud on the market” theory
  • Lower federal courts' further exploration of impact of settlement on Rule 23 requirements, in the wake of Amchem
  • Discussion of recent Supreme Court rulings on further specification of methods/requirements of proof at the certification stage
  • Discussion of Supreme Court's decision (Standard Fire Ins. v. Knowles) on the amount in controversy requirement that imposes some limits on the ability of plaintiffs to avoid removal under the Class Action Fairness Act 
  • Discussion of Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter (narrow scope of judicial review of arbitration decisions)
  • Discussion of DirectTV v. Imburgia (arbitration requirement with a class arbitration waiver)
  • Discussion of American Express v. Italian Colors (Supreme Court reaffirmed/expanded its holding in Concepcion re: waivers of class arbitration and other forms of joint proceedings)

Preface / Sample Chapters