Civil Procedure is the set of statutory rules and court custom that allows a private action between two parties to proceed to trial in an orderly manner. Training in civil procedure is a core competency for lawyers and is part of the first year course of studies at all law schools.
Details of civil procedure vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and are often subject to local rules that are particular to each court house. However, there are several key concepts that are common to procedure.
Pleadings - A short statement by each party as to the facts and law they intend to rely on at trial.
Service - Giving notice of the lawsuit to other parties.
Discovery - Disclosure of documents and examination of the parties to determine what precise version of facts they will be relying on at trial.
Setting down - Notice by a party that they are ready for trial.