Civil procedure is generally defined as the body of law that sets out the standards and/or rules that courts must follow when adjudicating a civil lawsuit.  This only refers to civil trials, and does not apply to criminal law.  Basically, these are the rules that govern:

  • how a trial may commence
  • Kinds of service of process
  • motions
  • applications
  • pleadings
  • statements of case
  • orders allowed
  • timing and the manner of depositions/discovery/disclosures
  • trial conduct
  • judgment process
  • remedies
  • how the court may function
  • how clerks may function

If you compare it to a sport, like baseball, the rules of the game are essentially the same as civil procedure.  As in sports, there are repercussions for not following the rules.  These include reprimands, and/or getting a case thrown out.