Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Civil Procedure

This research guide is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather will list some of the major sources of law in the area and a variety of tools for the researcher to use when confronted with questions involving civil procedure.

Treatises: For Comprehensive Treatment of the Topic

Treatises: For less Comprehensive Overview of the Topic

Treatises: For Washington Specific Treatment

  • Rules Practice, volumes 3A and 4 of the Washington Practice Series, by Lewis H. Orland and Karl B. Tegland. This is a two volume set on the Washington Superior Court Civil Rules. The work is arranged by rule number, setting out each rule's text, followed by commentary from both state and federal advisory committees when available. Author's comments and references to law review commentaries and cases are also included. Also available online via Westlaw.


Form books are useful in drafting pleadings, motions, orders and other court documents. There are many resources that contain federal procedural forms. Some are arranged by rule number, others topically. Several form books are listed below. Additionally, there are volumes of topical forms that include procedural forms. For example, many of the forms in Collier [Bankruptcy] Forms Manual deal with civil procedure in a bankruptcy context. Finally, there are online civil procedure and litigation forms at legal internet sites such as Findlaw and The 'Lectric Law Library as well as forms available on Lexis and Westlaw, noted below.

Along with the books listed below the Pattern Discovery Series provides discovery checklists and sample interrogatories for numerous subjects. The Law Library collects many of these sets. To see what subjects are covered, do a "keyword" search in the Law Library Catalog using "pattern discovery series" as the search words.

Selected Treatises on Subtopics of Civil Procedure: Discovery and Class Actions

The Pattern Discovery Series (mentioned below) provides commentary, checklists and sample interrogatories for numerous subjects. The Law Library collects many of these sets. To see what subjects are covered, search the Law Library Catalog for "pattern discovery series".

Periodical Articles and American Law Reports

Law reviews and journals reflect the latest thinking on topical issues. Over a thousand are published in the United States and the Law Library receives almost all of them. Abbreviations abound in this area so it is best to ask for help at the law library reference desk. Periodicals are located on the court level which is reached by the elevator inside the Library. They are also available on Lexis, Westlaw and Hein Online.

To find articles on particular topics, use either online index LegalTrac or Index to Legal Periodicals. Both titles offer indexes by author, title, subject, case, and statute. 

Similar to periodical articles, annotations in American Law Reports, at Range 3F, may provide useful analysis on a particular topic of Civil Procedure. ALR is now in its 6th Series. ALR Fed covers exclusively federal issues. The footnotes from the ALR may offer important primary authority. It is usually best to begin research using the ALR Index volumes, shelved at the end of all the sets. The full-text of ALR can also be searched via Lexis and Westlaw.

Finding additional Resources

Supplementary resources in the Law Library's collection can be located by using the Law Library Catalog, the catalog of print and non-print resources. The Catalog Help page will show you how to use the catalog to your best advantage.

Using Library of Congress subject headings will help you get an overview of the materials available. Some suggested headings are:

Also, the following (include jurisdictional limitations if desired)