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US Civil Procedure for International Students: 2021 - 2022 Edition
First published Dec 2021 and updated Dec 2022

A Strategic and Comparative Perspective

This United States Civil Procedure casebook has been written for Chinese and other foreign students who are unlikely to practice in the United States. The goal of the book is to set the U.S. procedural system in a polycentric, legally pluralistic context that helps non-US students understand how hard and soft law from multiple sources, including but not limited to the US, can impact their clients. It explores exceptional and not so exceptional aspects of the US system, using frequent references to cases involving international - especially Chinese - litigants to illustrate core elements of the US process.

     This casebook has been developed for the students of the School of Transnational Law at Peking University. It is based on a decade's experience in teaching US procedure to students who for the most part do not expect to practice as US litigators, and the emphases placed reflect that. In general, the course is taught and the book was written to aid students who may someday find themselves as senior lawyers to international enterprises, for whom an understanding of the US system and its consequences can be important.

     Thanks are due to Laurel Terry of Penn State, who generously shared with me all of her teaching materials when I first began teaching Civil Procedure, some of which undoubtedly appear uncredited in this book.

     I am also grateful to Glenn Cohen at Harvard, whose own online textbook at H2O pointed the way to how an online text could be organized. Harvard's library apparently offers access to book excerpts that we cannot access and my approach is sufficiently different from his that it was easier to start the organization from scratch, but his prior work nonetheless made a huge difference in making this book imaginable, and I am grateful to him and to H2O. Thanks are also due to all the authors of commercial textbooks, whose work similarly reflected deep thought about how to present the subject matter.

     Thanks are also due to my research assistants who did much of the work to make this possible and who contributed many useful insights.

     As in all aspects of my life, thanks are due to my wife, Elaine Claar Campbell, for being who she is.