Equity and Amiralty: A Turbulet Path to Manifest Destiny

Smith, George P. II | January 1, 1983

Effective in 1966, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended “to effect unification of the civil and admiralty procedure.” With this amendement, the Advisory Committee intended that, “just as the 1938 rules abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity, this change would abolish the distinction between civil actions and suits in admiralty.” Thus, rule 1, defining the scope of the rules, now states, “These rules govern the procedure in the United States district courts in all suits of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases as law or in equity or in admiralty… They shall be construed to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.”