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NCJ Number: 52162 Find in a Library
Title: JUSTICE DELAYED - THE PACE OF LITIGATION IN URBAN TRIAL COURTS
Journal: STATE COURT JOURNAL  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:3-8
Author(s): T CHURCH JR; J Q LEE; T TAN
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Project Director: K CHANTRY
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: National Conference of Metropolitan Courts
Los Angeles, CA 90004
National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-DF-99-0076
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FINDINGS OF AN 18-MONTH RESEARCH PROJECT ON TRIAL COURT DELAY IN 21 METROPOLITAN AREAS IN THE U.S. ARE BASED ON COMPARABLE TIME AND WORK-LOAD MEASURES, INTERVIEWS WITH COURT PERSONNEL, AND OBSERVATIONS OF COURT PROCEEDINGS.
Abstract: THIS STUDY, CONDUCTED BY THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR STATE COURTS AND THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF METROPOLITAN COURTS DISCOVERED THAT MUCH OF THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ABOUT COURT DELAY IS NOT SUBSTANTIATED BY THE DATA COLLECTED. A SEARCH OF THE LITERATURE AND INTERVIEWS WITH ATTORNEYS, JUDGES, AND COURT EMPLOYEES REVEALED THAT, TRADITIONALLY, CASE DELAY HAS BEEN BLAMED ON LARGE COURT SIZE, HEAVY WORKLOADS, AND JURY TRIALS. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE COURTS WITH THE HIGHEST WORK LOADS, HOWEVER, WERE NOT THE COURTS WITH THE SLOWEST DISPOSITION TIMES. ALSO, LARGE CITIES TENDED TO HAVE SPEEDIER CASE DISPOSITIONS THAN SMALLER CITIES. BACKLOGS WERE FOUND TO BE A RESULT OF CASE DELAY, BUT NOT A CAUSE. INDIVIDUAL JUDGE-MAINTAINED CALENDARS WERE FOUND TO BE MORE CONDUCIVE TO SPEEDY TRIAL IN CIVIL CASES, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN CRIMINAL CASES. THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN COURT DELAYS INVOLVES A SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES CALLED 'LOCAL LEGAL EXPECTATIONS' OR THE 'LOCAL LEGAL CULTURE' WHICH CONSIST OF A SET OF INFORMAL ATTITUDES, EXPECTATIONS, AND PRACTICES OF ALL MEMBERS OF A LEGAL COMMUNITY. IN COURTS WHICH EXPECT A SPEEDY TRIAL, A SPEEDY TRIAL IS OBTAINED. THE LOCAL LEGAL CULTURE IS EXPRESSED MOST OPENLY IN CIVIL CASES. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE SMALLER NUMBER OF CRIMINAL LAWYERS AND THEIR CLOSER WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH COURT OFFICIALS, THIS INFORMAL ATTITUDE IS PROBABLY EVEN MORE OF A FACTOR IN CRIMINAL CASES. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT PLEA BARGAINING, DIVERSION AND SCREENING PROGRAMS, AND NEW JUDGESHIPS WILL NOT NECESSARILY RESULT IN SPEEDIER LITIGATIONS. TABLES BRIEFLY PRESENT STUDY DATA. REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Court case flow management; Management; National Center for State Courts (NCSC); National Conference of Metropolitan Courts; Studies; Trial courts; Trials
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52162

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