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Two decades of lively experience under the federal civil rules provide adequate perspective for both survey and prognosis. The rules have been thoroughly tried and not found wanting; and the trend of state adoption is proceeding apace. Now a quarter of the states are followers; half have adopted substantial portions of the federal system; and hardly a local jurisdiction remains unaffected. North Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho are the most recent converts, with Alabama nearing decision and New York more doubtful, and with promising developments in Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, and Vermont, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, among others. Finally, events of the moment virtually compel re-examination of the basic premises of rule-making and rule-amendment. The discharge by the Supreme Court of its Advisory Committee and current plans for re-establishment of rule-making authority in some more permanent form are bringing the issues to a head. So I welcome this symposium on the federal rules in a twenty-year perspective and congratulate the editors of the Columbia Law Review on their initiative in planning it.

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Two Decades of the Federal Civil Rules, 58 Columbia Law Review 435 (1958)

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