Professor Edson R. Sunderland stated in 1920 that a glaring failure chargeable to the legal profession in America was "its ignorance and indifference to improvements in procedural practice developed in other jurisdictions," pointing out that while discoveries by foreign scholars in the field of medicine were eagerly accepted, similar innovations in the field of law were uniformly ignored regardless of merit. Such apathy is largely attributable to the legislatures, but the courts cannot be given an entirely clean bill of health, for attempted procedural reforms have often been nullified, in whole or in part, by technical construction and an attempted precise definition of terms, very appropriately characterized by Dean Pound as an "over-refinement" and undue "insistence on the etiquette of justice." Nowhere in the law is this more evident than in regard to the joinder of defendants in the alternative, a subject which necessarily involves a consideration of the general field of permissive joinder of parties and causes.
Dale E. Bennett,
ALTERNATIVE PARTIES AND THE COMMON LAW HANGOVER,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol32/iss1/3