Rules of civil procedure inform the way litigation develops and proceeds through the courts. They also influence the role of judges, lawyers, and court personnel, the production and probative value of evidence, and the duration of court proceedings. The differences between legal systems can be profound. For example, civil law judges have a more active role in gathering evidence, and in common law systems there is a distinct and protracted pretrial phase of litigation. This section provides an overview of these differences as well as information about the right to counsel in civil actions and the discovery process.