Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2021


WVU College of Law


In an effort to provide scholarship immediately useful to the litigator, this Article proposes a detailed systems workflow to plan and coordinate preparing for federal civil trials called the Trial Preparation Procedures—Civil or "TrialPrepPro—Civil" for short. Although there is an abundance of anecdotal "learning from doing" trial preparation guidance, empirically testable "learning about doing" trial preparation guidance is rare. We present our TrialPrepPro to learn more about doing.

The TrialPrepPro is modeled after the battle-proven U.S. Army Troop Leading Procedures used, with modifications, by all U.S. military services, our NATO allies, and many other foreign militaries. Although there is ample anecdotal or episodic published trial preparation guidance, to the best of our knowledge, the TrialPrepPro is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive, ready-out-of-the-box trial preparation framework.

In light of the U.S. legal profession's established lack of management training, the TrialPrepPro helps a busy practitioner, law firm, or legal services organization to coordinate the arduous and increasingly rare trial preparation process among team members. Moreover, the TrialPrepPro establishes a thoughtful minimum shared professional standard for any law office and any trial team. The TrialPrepPro is meant to be shared, customized, and, above all, used in actual practice.

Accordingly, we encourage practitioners to download a free editable copy of the TrialPrepPro from our website ( We only ask that downloaders complete a short survey and share any modifications. We plan to provide a criminal version, the TrialPrepPro—Criminal, in a follow-up article.

Original Publication Title

Rutgers University Law Review

Source Citation

73 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 351



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