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procedure, in law, the rules that govern the obtaining of legal redress. This article deals only with civil procedure in Anglo-American law (for criminal procedure, see criminal law). Except for evidence, procedure conventionally embraces all matters concerning legal actions that come to trial; thus, procedure is the means for enforcing the rights guaranteed by the substantive law.

Current Civil Procedure

A legal action, in its simplest form, is a proceeding of a plaintiff against a defendant from whom redress is sought. The plaintiff begins a lawsuit by filing a complaint, a written statement of his or her claim and the relief desired, with a court that has jurisdiction (authority to hear the case). The defendant is served a process (e.g., a summons) that notifies him or her of the suit and usually responds with an answer. Failure to respond ordinarily entitles the plaintiff to a judgment by default.

Today, liberal rules of pretrial discovery allow parties to a civil action to obtain information from other parties and their witnesses through depositions and other devices. Discovery (i.e., disclosure) is now used to ascertain the facts believed by the other side to exist, and to narrow the issues to be tried. At common law, pleadings performed this function, and they were continued beyond the complaint and answer until an issue was agreed upon.

The issue is one of law if the defendant denies that the alleged acts are a violation of substantive law entitling the plaintiff to relief; it is one of fact if the defendant denies committing any of the alleged acts. The judge rules on an issue of law, and if the judge upholds the defendant the suit is dismissed. An issue of fact is resolved by the presentation of evidence to the jury, or, in cases tried without a jury, by the judge. After the jury has delivered a verdict on the factual issue, the judge renders a judgment, which in most (but by no means all) instances upholds the verdict. At this point the case is closed (unless the losing party prosecutes an appeal), and the plaintiff, if having won, proceeds to execution of the judgment.

Evolution of Procedural Law

Current procedural law has had a long historical evolution. The early common law allowed an action to be brought only if it closely conformed to a writ. Rigorous enforcement of the rule “no writ, no right,” and the small number of available writs acted to deny relief even in meritorious cases and stimulated the growth of equity, which, in its early days, gave redress generously.

By the 19th cent., however, the technical intricacy of equity and law procedure and the tendency to make cases hinge on procedural details rather than on substantive rights made reform imperative. The way was led by the New York code of civil procedure of 1848 (largely the work of David Dudley Field), which abolished the distinction between law and equity (thereby effecting great simplification) and established the cause of action as the procedural cornerstone. A similar reform was accomplished in Great Britain by the Judicature Acts of 1875. Today the procedure of most American jurisdictions is based on codes (like that of New York) rather than on common law and equity, although the influence of these separate categories is still frequently discernible.


See J. Michael, The Elements of Legal Controversy (1948); P. Carrington, Civil Procedure (1969).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the initiation of proceedings before a court, arbitrazh (state arbitration tribunal), or private arbitration board in connection with a violated or contested right or an interest protected by law. Under Soviet law, a court is obliged to accept the suit, to examine it, and to render a decision provided that (1) the plaintiff or defendant is a citizen or organization exercising the rights of a legal person; (2) the claim is within the jurisdiction of the judicial agencies, and the plaintiff has complied with the legally established procedure for the preliminary extrajudicial settlement of the dispute; (3) there is no decision that has come into legal force in connection with the dispute between the same parties concerning the same subject and on the same grounds, no court ruling accepting the withdrawal of the suit by the plaintiff or confirming a peaceful settlement by the parties, and no decision of the comrades’ court; (4) there are no records of the given dispute in the court proceedings; (5) no agreement has been reached by the parties to transfer the dispute for resolution by a private arbitration board; (6) the case is subject to the jurisdiction of the given court; and (7) the suit was submitted by a citizen who is legally competent or by a person having authority to conduct the case on his behalf. An arbitrazh is also obliged to accept the suit, to consider it, and to render a decision provided certain conditions exist (most of them coincide with the conditions of bringing a suit before a court).

The form and the content of a suit are established by law. The suit is submitted in writing, indicating the name of the court or arbitrazh before which the suit is being brought, the full names of the plaintiff and defendant, their places of residence, and other essential information. The suit must be signed by the plaintiff or by his representative, and the state tax must be paid at the time of the submission of the suit. In the statement of claim directed to the arbitrazh the plaintiff must give his reasons for declining the defendant’s arguments as they were stated in the response to the claim, in the records of the disagreement, and in other documents received from the defendant. The subject and the grounds of the suit may be changed by the plaintiff; he has the right, for example, to change the amount of the claim or to withdraw his suit.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A piece of clothing worn by combat pilots and astronauts. It exerts pressure on the abdomen and the lower limbs of the aircrew to prevent or retard the flow of blood below the chest when under positive acceleration. This delays the onset of the gray-out or blackout phenomena some pilots may experience. A g-suit increases the gray-out or blackout threshold by 1¼ to 2 g. The same as anti-g suit.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


1. any of the four sets of 13 cards in a pack of playing cards, being spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. The cards in each suit are two to ten, jack, queen, and king in the usual order of ascending value, with ace counting as either the highest or lowest according to the game
2. a civil proceeding; lawsuit
3. the act or process of suing in a court of law
4. follow suit to play a card of the same suit as the card played immediately before it
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Ugly and uncomfortable "business clothing" often worn by non-hackers. Invariably worn with a "tie", a strangulation device that partially cuts off the blood supply to the brain. It is thought that this explains much about the behaviour of suit-wearers.


A person who habitually wears suits, as distinct from a techie or hacker.

See loser, burble, management, Stupids, SNAFU principle, and brain-damaged.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


A derogatory term for a corporate employee who wears a suit. Suits may also refer to management and marketing people. See slime.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
With the introduction of SUIT HER, Be Free Zone fills a void in the children's market specifically for girls, parents, and others who desire greater variety adolescent fashion.
Subsequently, on December 20, 2001, a grant of the suit property under the Registration of Titles Act was issued to them.
Alternatively, you could take your boiler suit into party territory by adding heels, a clutch and a pair of jazzy earrings.
Wallis khaki boiler suit, PS48 (was PS60); black heeled sandals, PS37.80 (were PS42) Dorothy Perkins khaki short sleeve boilersuit, PS32 (was PS40)
1 Oasis Utility Boiler Suit, PS55; Tie Leopard Sandals, PS25 2 George at Asda Boiler Suit, PS20 3 Dorothy Perkins Khaki Short Sleeve Boilersuit, PS32 (was PS40) 4 V by Very Button Through Jumpsuit, PS48 5 Boohoo Pink Utility Denim Boiler Suit, PS26.60 (was PS35) 6 Miss Selfridge Multi Colour Cheetah Boiler Suit, PS49 7 Monsoon Jane Utility Boilersuit, PS60
The purpose of these suits has been a major "( Endgame " theory for months.
To any man looking to have a timeless suit section in his wardrobe is to research for a tailor that won't shortchange him when it comes to quality.
For a powerful fashion piece that is not contained by era or time, the wearer must compliment and share that power the suit holds.
Titiloye argued that the suit filed by the factional and aggrieved members of the APC is an intra party affairs and not justiciable
Asked by reporters on the reasons to withdraw the suit, Mohd Hafarizam said he had advised his client to drop the suit following a change in the political landscape of the country and there were other more important matters to attend to.
Dikobe noted that suits could be worn for their specifications and cuts, citing tuxedos as the best option for any special event such as an invitation to a wedding, while for a date night one could always play with a casual side of the suit and don the jacket, opting for a more casual shirt- unbuttoned.
In such cases, he has to find ways to make up for these obvious signs of tightness and puckering by fashioning a roomier suit around the belly area.