Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The invitation to participate in a symposium on Stability and Change Through Law, with stress upon procedure and its capacity to respond to the social and economic needs of the times, is one I have found difficult to decline. The historic and centuries-old lag in procedural advance, the great resurgence of the last quarter century, the extensive present achievements, and the vital needs for the future now apparent make this, in my judgment, the most fascinating and challenging branch of the law. And this is true, whether one looks to the law school curriculum or to the framing of judicial decisions or to the problems of active practice or to the public service which is or should be a professional obligation. Within the limits properly available to me, I cannot do more than suggest the vivid history of the struggle for better law administration and its present trends and problems. In responding to the invitation, I shall speak separately of civil and of criminal procedure. The developments in each field are in part at least in response to similar stimuli; but the differences are sufficiently substantial and, indeed, obvious as to make identical treatment inconvenient.