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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118853 Find in a Library
Title: Procedural Reform of the Civil Justice System
Corporate Author: Louis Harris and Associates
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Louis Harris and Associates
New York, NY 10003
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a perceived problem in the Federal civil justice system regarding high transaction costs and undue delays and, if there is, to assess its perceived magnitude and probable causes.
Abstract: This study was conducted in 1988, of nearly 1,100 litigators and Federal trial judges concerning high transaction costs and undue delays associated with Federal civil litigation. This problem casts doubt on whether the civil justice system meets its basic objective of a "just, speedy and inexpensive" resolution of disputes. Transaction costs serve as a measure of the efficiency of the civil justice system, and indicate that a greater amount of the nation's resources are being expended in resolving civil disputes between parties. Also, this problem means a lower percentage of each dollar expended in the civil justice system is actually paid in compensation for damages. The major findings are that: (1) transaction costs are perceived to be a problem; (2) judges and lawyers agree that transaction costs lead to unequal justice; (3) discovery abuse is considered the most important cause of the problem; and (4) judges who inadequately manage their cases are also blamed for inflated costs. There is strong support for specific proposals designed to reduce discovery conflicts and to enhance judicial case management, and procedural improvements and reforms that would significantly reduce litigation costs. 48 tables and appendix.
Main Term(s): Civil proceedings
Index Term(s): Civil remedies; Court management; Court reporting; Federal courts
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