The article analyzes little known archival documents 1857–1859 (official reports and analytical notes by count D. N. Bludov, prince D. A. Obolenski, S. I. Zarudny etc.), devoted to the drafting of the Charter of Civil Procedure and the preparation of the reform of the judiciary as a whole. In the center of the discussion on the future court system of the Russian Empire in the highest government circles was not only the content of the judicial reforms, but also the methods and the rate of renewal of the legal system. With the deepening of discussions reformers cared less about how to maintain a balance of tradition and innovation in a changing legal order, on the validity of the volume of borrowing of foreign law, moving away from an adequate reflection of the contradictory social reality in legal structures to their ideal forms. Methods of influence on the emperor and members of the State Council of the Russian empire, which aimed to change the direction of the discussion and passage of the bill in the upper legislative and deliberative authority were first tested in the early 1850s in the legislative practice of the Admirality Board (Ministry of Marine). At the beginning of the era of the Great Reforms they became a clear manifestation of the aging of the new political and legal culture in the field of legislation generated by the need to reform the scale of public relations.