Program for the 2018 AALS Section on Civil Procedure: Procedure as Technology/Technology as Procedure

Welcome, please join us!

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the 2017-2018 AALS Section on Civil Procedure, please join us on Friday, Jan. 5, at 8:30AM for our 2018 program, Procedure as Technology/Technology as Procedure. Our session is co-sponsored by the AALS Section on Litigation. After the Civil Procedure section’s program, please join the Section on Litigation’s program at 10:30AM, which is cross-sponsored by the Civil Procedure section.

Date and time

The Civil Procedure program runs from Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 from 8:30AM-10:15AM in the Pacific Ballroom Salon 22. If you are a panelist, please be there by 8:15AM so that we may set up AV and get ready.

Description of topic

Title: Procedure as Technology/Technology as Procedure (co-sponsored by Section on Litigation)

Description: Recent section programs have looked to the past (The FRCP at 75), and the present (The Roberts Court). This year’s program looks to the future of procedure by considering the relationship between procedure and technology, and the lessons each may have for theories of procedural justice. Specifically, the program will ask how procedure acts as technology, and how technology is a form of procedure. For example, online takedown notices and automated filtering algorithms serve obvious adjudicative functions without the involvement of a court or traditional procedure. Thus, in a world where many disputes are “settled” without any real hope of a court date, it is time to consider how principles of procedural justice ought to shape our procedures, whether embodied in civil rules or online algorithms. Accordingly, this panel joins prominent scholars on procedure and on technology for a discussion aimed at cross-pollinating perspectives from both, with the goal of formulating new theories of procedural justice to inform the creation of better procedures and technologies.


If a panelist would like to use AV, please email your presentation materials to Alternatively, you may bring AV materials to the session on a thumbdrive. Regardless, please be there by 8:15AM so that we can make sure all AV is loaded and working.

Format and schedule

The session will begin at 8:30AM. After a brief introduction of the topic and panelists, each panelist will get up to twelve (12) minutes to speak. The moderator will provide signals to the panelists on remaining time to ensure that we remain on schedule.

After the last panelist speaks, we will open Q&A/discussion, with questions from the audience and the moderator, and discussion among the panelists.

The session will end at 10:05AM for a brief section business meeting. Ideally, panelists should make themselves available to speak to interested attendees outside the room after the session.

Following the Civil Procedure session, there will be a session at 10:30AM-12:15PM by the Section on Litigation (co-sponsored by Section on Civil Procedure): American-Style Litigation: A Force for Good or Ill?

Goals of session

As noted above, this session asks, “how procedure acts as technology, and how technology is a form of procedure.” Today, many legal disputes are handled technologically, often without the involvement of a human adjudicator. In a world where few disputes are handled in an Article III court, it becomes essential to think about procedure—and procedural justice—and its interplay with technology.

In the legal academy, technologists and procedure scholars often research and write in separate worlds, even though both are deeply concerned about due process and procedural justice. This session aims to bring together a group of highly regarded scholars in these areas and get them talking together. Each panelist is a highly regarded scholar in procedure, technology, or both, and has been invited to participate in a discussion that considers fundamental issues of procedural justice, and that addresses “how principles of procedural justice ought to shape our procedures, whether embodied in civil rules or online algorithms.” Considering the increasing role of technology in procedure, the goal of this session is therefore to revisit the fundamentals of procedural justice, asking what 21st-century procedural justice is and ought to be. The joint observations of procedure and technology scholars should shed interesting light on these important questions.

Panelists and moderator

Name School Areas of research AALS talk topic (tentative, subject to revision) Scholarship relevant to session
Aaron Ghiarardelli (panelist, presenting with Grossi)




Loyola (LA) Cyberlaw, International Commercial Arbitration and International Business Transactions. Blockchains, court records, and smart contracts From eBay to Bitcoin: Trespass to Chattels and Standing Issues in Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Networks (Forthcoming)

Rules of Engagement in the Conflict Between Businesses and Consumers in Online Contracts

Simona Grossi (panelist, presenting with Ghiarardelli)



Loyola (LA) Civil Procedure Blockchains, court records, and smart contracts Procedural Due Process

A Principled Approach to Procedural Reform: Zooming in on the Claim

Megan M. La Belle (panelist)



Catholic Civil Procedure, Admin Law, Federal Courts, Patent Law, IP Algorithms and litigation financing The Patently Unexceptional Venue Statute (with Paul R. Gugliuzza)

The Local Rules of Patent Procedure

Thomas O. Main (panelist)



Nevada Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Transnational Litigation Procedure: Where Polanyi’s Paradox May Be Wishful Thinking The Procedural Foundation of Substantive Law

The Fourth Era of American Civil Procedure (with Stephen Subrin)

Frank Pasquale (panelist)



Maryland Admin Law, Health Care Law, Copyright Automated disputed resolution against the poor The Scored Society: Due Process for Automated Predictions (with Danielle Keats Citron)

The Black Box Society

Alan M. Trammell (panelist)



Arkansas (Fayetteville) Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Conflicts Metaphors, technology, and procedural justice Personal Jurisdiction and the Interwebs (with Derek E. Bambauer)

Precedent and Preclusion

Ira Steven Nathenson (moderator)



St. Thomas (Miami) Intellectual Property, Internet Law, Procedural Justice  Moderating Civil Procedures for a World of Shared and User-Generated Content

Super-Intermediaries, Code, Human Rights

Other sessions of interest

Other AALS sessions of interest to Civ Pro profs include:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

  • 1:30 pm – 3:15 pm, Section on Minority Groups: Structural and Procedural Hurdles to Justice Affecting Minorities
  • 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, AALS Law and Film Series: The Feature Film Selection: My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

  • 10:30 am – 12:15 pm, Section on Conflict of Laws: Crossing Borders: Mapping the Future of Conflict of Laws Scholarship (the section also has a breakfast at 7:30AM).
  • 1:30 pm – 3:15 pm, Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Co-Sponsored by Litigation: ADR and Access to Justice: Current Perspectives

Friday, January 5, 2018

  • 8:30 am – 10:15 am, Section on Civil Procedure, Co-Sponsored by Litigation: Procedure as Technology/Technology as Procedure (details below)
  • 10:30 am – 12:15 pm, Section on Litigation, Co-Sponsored by Civil Procedure: American-Style Litigation: A Force for Good or Ill?
  • 1:30 pm – 3:15 pm, Sections on Federal Courts and Remedies Joint Program: Federal Court Remedies Against the Executive

Saturday, January 6, 2018

  • 10:30 am – 12:15 pm, Section on Evidence: Daubert After 25 Years: A Prospective Look at the Next Great Challenges in Expert Reliability

Last revised Jan. 5, 2018