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THE authority given to the IYnited States Supreme Court by the Act
of June 19, 1934, to prescribe uniform rules of procedure for federal
civil actions at law and to unite the federal law and equity practices aptly
was said, to afford "an unusual opportunity for introducing effective
measures of reform in law administration into our most extended court
system and of developing a procedure which may properly be a model
to all the states."' That the Court intends to avail itself of this opportunity
is evidenced both by its decision to proceed "with the preparation
of a unified system of rules for cases in equity and actions at law,"
rather than to limit the rules to common-law cases, as it might have done
under the act, and by its appointment of an advisory committee to assist
in this undertaking. There can be no thoroughly effective reform in
law administration, however, without an adequate treatment of the
matter of evidence. In the application of proper rules of law to the
substantive interests involved in litigation, rules of evidence which aid
or hamper a court in its investigation of a fact situation, depending upon
the character of the rules, are as important as the rules which govern
the litigation prior and subsequent to the trial. Modern and liberal
rules covering the commencement of an action, pleading, parties, judgments,
provisional and final remedies and appellate procedure will be
small solace to a party who finds a meritorious case thwarted by a rule
of evidence of medieval origin and doubtful merit.

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civil actions, Supreme Court