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The Connecticut Practice Act, effected January 1, 18S0, has established what has generally been considered one of the most effective systems of civil procedure in existence. There were various reasons for this success. The Act was adopted after considerable experience in the various states with the Field code or reformed procedure inaugurated in New York in 1848 as well as with the reform in England accomplished by the Judicature Acts of 1871 and 1873. Profiting by the teachings of this experience it avoided some of the pitfalls met with elsewhere and developed a simple and effective union of law and equity. Fairly extensive rule-making power was continued in the courts, the benefits of which, while not fully realized, have become increasingly apparent since the creation a few years ago of a Judicial Council. But perhaps as important was the state publication of an official Practice Boo!, available to lawyers and law students, containing not merely the practice provisions,but official forms of pleadings for the guidance of bench and bar. Unfortunately even a fine practice system, like all orderly processes involving an increasing number of technical requirements, tends to petrifaction, and some danger may be discerned lest the originally excellent Connecticut system becomes overtechnical just at a time when a ferment of reform activity is remolding the procedure of several states and of the federal trial courts. The publication of a new Practice Book compiled by a Committee of Superior Court Judges, containing over 300 forms of complaints and a total of 680 official forms, affords perhaps a fitting occasion to express some concern lest Connecticut lose its procedural preeminence.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Book Review: The Connecticut Practice Book of 1934, 44 Yale Law Journal 1483 (1935)