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NCJ Number: 63083 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CALIFORNIA AND THE UNITED STATES COURTS OF APPEALS PROBLEMS AND PROPOSALS
Author(s): J T WOLD
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
Office for Improvements in the Admin of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 105
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Contract Number: J-8XH-07377-L
Publication Number: FJRP-79/008
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: LITIGATION IN THE CALIFORNIA AND U.S. COURTS OF APPEALS WAS EXAMINED IN REGARD TO CASE FLOW AND VOLUME, INTERNAL DECISION PROCESSES, AND COSTS.
Abstract: INFORMATION ON THE CASELOADS OF THE FIVE CALIFORNIA APPELLATE COURTS WAS OBTAINED FROM DOCKET SHEETS, CASE RECORDS, AND A 10-PERCENT SAMPLE OF FILINGS SELECTED FROM FISCAL YEARS 1968 AND 1977. QUESTIONNAIRES ON CASELOAD PROBLEMS WERE COMPLETED BY 30 ACTIVE AND SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGES AND 20 LAW CLERKS. JUDGES AND STAFF ATTORNEYS WERE INTERVIEWED CONCERNING THEIR OPINIONS ON INTERACTION, BARGAINING, AND LEADERSHIP IN THE COURTS. LITIGATION COSTS WERE STUDIED BY CHECKING ATTORNEYS' FEES AND CONDUCTING PERSONAL INTERVIEWS, WHEN POSSIBLE. IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA THE PERCENTAGE OF CRIMINAL APPEALS INCREASED MARKEDLY BETWEEN 1968 AND 1977, WHILE THE PERCENTAGE OF CIVIL APPEALS SHARPLY DECLINED. IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THESE TRENDS WERE REVERSED. STATE COURTS HANDLED MORE CASES OF CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS AND PROPERTY, DOMESTIC RELATIONS, AND ORIGINAL PROCEEDINGS. THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT WAS HEAVILY INVOLVED IN COMMERCE, CONTRACTS, LABOR, AND TORTS. BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS EXPERIENCED STEADY INCREASES IN FILINGS, ESPECIALLY IN CIVIL CASES. THE STUDY RECOMMENDS MEASURES TO LIMIT THE CASELOAD GROWTH IN THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT, INCLUDING REDUCING THE NUMBER OF FEDERAL CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND RESTRICTING THE COURTS OF APPEALS TO APPELLATE FUNCTIONS. A HIGH LEVEL OF INFORMAL INTERACTION EXISTS AMONG JUDGES WITHIN THEIR OWN DIVISIONS, AND THE AUTHOR OF THE COURTS' OPINION IS VIEWED AS PARTICULARLY INFLUENTIAL IN THE DECISION PROCESS. STATE JUDGES CONSIDERED MOST OF THEIR CASES TO BE ROUTINE, IN CONTRAST TO FEDERAL JUDGES WHO SAW THEIR WORK AS LARGELY NONROUTINE AND MERITORIOUS. THE CALIFORNIA PRACTICE OF USING PERMANENT ARRANGEMENTS INSTEAD OF ROTATING ASSIGNMENTS AND ROUTINE DISPOSITION PROCEDURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CASES SHOULD SERVE AS MODELS FOR REVISION OF THE FEDERAL SYSTEM. ATTORNEYS' FEES DEPEND ON TYPE OF PRACTICE, LOCATION, PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, AND AREA OF SPECIALIZATION. COURTS USE STANDARDIZED SCHEDULES IN PAYING PRIVATE ATTORNEYS FOR INDIGENT DEFENDANTS, BUT THE FEES ARE USUALLY ADJUSTED BY THE JUDGE. FOOTNOTES ARE APPENDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Appellate courts; California; Court case flow; Court reform; Federal courts; Judicial process; Legal fees; State courts
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