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NCJ Number: 65081 Find in a Library
Title: WHAT THE DEVITT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS TO IMPROVE ADVOCACY IN FEDERAL COURTS
Journal: JUDICATURE  Volume:63  Issue:7  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:309-321
Author(s): D A BAGG
Corporate Author: American Judicature Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: American Judicature Soc
Chicago, IL 60601-7401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE 1978 DEVITT COMMITTEE TO IMPROVE TRIAL ADVOCACY IN THE FEDERAL COURTS ARE EXAMINED AND ANALYZED, AND CRITICISMS OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: FINDINGS OF THE DEVITT COMMITTEE, A 24-MEMBER COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER TO CONSIDER STANDARDS FOR ADMISSION TO PRACTICE IN THE FEDERAL COURTS, INCLUDED THE DISCLOSURES THAT OVER 25 PERCENT OF THE PERFORMANCES BY LAWYERS IN CASES THAT COME TO TRIAL IN FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS WERE RATED AS LESS THAN 'GOOD' BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE; THAT 41.3 PERCENT OF THE JUDGES ANSWERING A JUDGES' QUESTIONNAIRE BELIEVED THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM OF INADEQUATE TRIAL ADVOCACY IN THEIR COURTS WITH THE RESULT THAT CLIENTS' INTERESTS WERE NOT FULLY PROTECTED; THAT TRIAL LAWYERS WHO ANSWERED THE LAWYERS' OPINION QUESTIONNAIRES CONCLUDED SIMILARLY, AND THAT TWO AREAS IN PARTICULAR, GENERAL LEGAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS IN EXAMINING WITNESSES AND IN PLANNING AND MANAGING LITIGATION, NEEDED IMPROVEMENT. THE COMMITTEE'S FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL DISTRICT ACTION INCLUDED A BAR EXAM AS A CONDITION FOR ADMISSION TO PRACTICE, A REQUIREMENT OF FOUR SUPERVISED TRIAL EXPERIENCES, PEER REVIEW, INSTITUTION OF THE FIRST THREE RECOMMENDATIONS IN PILOT DISTRICTS, ADOPTION OF A STUDENT PRACTICE RULE, AND CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION. TRIAL ADVOCACY TRAINING WAS PROPOSED FOR JUDICIAL CONFERENCE ACTION. THE BAR EXAMINATION SHOULD INCLUDE PRACTICING ATTORNEYS (GRANDPERSONS) WHO ARE CURRENTLY EXEMPTED AND VARIOUS LOCAL OPTIONS SHOULD BE ADOPTED IN DISTRICTS WHERE SUPERVISED TRIAL PARTICIPATION IS UNAVAILABLE. INDIVIDUAL COURT APPOINTMENTS COULD ALSO BE USED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT SUPERVISED TRIAL EXPERIENCES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, REQUIRING THE COURT TO PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY, AND ANSWERING OBJECTIONS ON BEHALF OF MINORITY LAWYERS WHERE THE ESTABLISHED BAR MIGHT BE HOSTILE TOWARDS HELPING THEM. FOOTNOTES AND A LIST OF THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS ARE PROVIDED, AS WELL AS GUIDELINES SUGGESTED BY THE JUDICIAL CONFERENCE. (AOP)
Index Term(s): Attorney competence; Attorneys; Defense preparation; Federal courts; Judicial process; Professional conduct and ethics; Trial preparation; Trial procedures
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65081

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