In an often-quoted report of a committee of the American Bar Association, Roscoe Pound stated: "Pleadings have four purposes: (1) The first is to serve as a formal basis for the judgment. This is the oldest function, and one that goes back before the time of rational, as distinguished from purely mechanical trial of issues. . . . (2) Another is to separate issues of fact from questions of law .... (3) Another is to give litigants the advantage of a plea of res judicata if molested again for the same cause .... (4) Finally, pleadings exist to notify parties of the claims, defenses and cross-demands of their adversaries . . . . The notice-function of pleading is the one that should be emphasized. The function of serving as a formal basis for the judgment should be abandoned, and the other functions will be performed at least as well as now if the notice-function is thoroughly developed and consistently adhered to." A brief history of each of these functions will serve as an outline of the history and theory of pleading in Anglo-American law.
William W. Blume,
THEORY OF PLEADING A SURVEY INCLUDING THE FEDERAL RULES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol47/iss3/2