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The Past and Future of Procedure Scholarship

Written for a symposium honoring Steve Burbank’s contributions to procedure scholarship, this Essay takes Geoff Hazard’s monograph, Research in Civil Procedure, as its point of departure. Hazard was remarkably prescient in forecasting our modern predicament, posing timeless questions about the role of history and doctrine, the emphasis on normative claims and law reform, the centrality of legal theory, and the rise of empirical and other discipline-based scholarship. After surveying the challenges facing legal scholars, procedural and otherwise, the Essay concludes with a note of appreciation for Burbank’s ability to couple a command of doctrinal nuance with sophisticated empirics in crafting a powerful account of the variegated institutions of procedural law reform.