A major step toward establishing uniform federal procedures was undertaken in 1934, when the U.S. Supreme Court promulgated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). The bible for practicing attorneys, the Rules govern all civil actions in federal courts nationwide, including federal bankruptcy court. The Rules are frequently amended and updated and contain Supplemental Rules sections for cases in admiralty and maritime actions, as well as “local rules” pertaining to specific courts within the federal system.
Although the Rules were intended to apply to U.S. district courts within the federal system, nearly all state courts have since replaced their own procedural rules with new rules modeled after the FRCP. At a minimum, it can be said that the FRCP represents the dominant style of American civil procedure, whether in federal or state court. Although there is not uniformity per se, there is general consistency of approach to matters common in most causes of action.