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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69636 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Managing To Reduce Delay - A Summary
Journal: State Court Journal  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1980)  Pages:3-8,41-44
Author(s): A B Aikman; A C Carlson; R W Page; L L Sipes; T Tan
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-DF-AX-0026
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings of the two phases of the Pretrial Delay Project undertaken by the National Center for State Courts, in cooperation with the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, are summarized.
Abstract: The 3-year project was designed to aid State trial courts in improving case processing. The complete results of the first 18 months of work are discussed in two books, 'Pretrial Delay' and 'Justice Delayed.' The following 22 months were spent developing and testing an array of case management techniques in seven trial courts around the country. The most significant finding of the project was that local legal culture can be changed to improve the pace of litigation. The critical requirement is judicial dedication to reducing unacceptable delay at all stages. Three techniques, each involving different degrees of court control, were tested in six of the seven courts. These were total case management, establishing firm control over trial-setting policies, and establishing firm control over older cases. Choices among these techniques depended primarily upon the administrative and judicial resources available and policy decisions as to the degree of change a court desired. The total case management experiments conducted in Phoenix and Cleveland found that the pace of litigation in the court must be measured and techniques adopted for partial or total court management of the pace according to court needs and characteristics. Courts participation in designing the project is crucial, as is the availability of reliable statistics. Before implementing any plan, the bar and other affected entities, both governmental and private, should give input. Problems and obstacles can be mitigated if the court accepts responsibility for the pace of litigation, seeks agreement among court members who affect change, has open communications concerning the program, allocates staff resources as needed, assures staff involvement, and allows sufficient time for implementation. Early and firm trial dates, controlling the number of trials set for a day and week, and rational setting levels, allowing for expected terminations and continuances, are keys to succesful caseload management. For a complete summary of the project's findings, see NCJ 68958. Notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Arizona; Caseload management; Court case flow management; Court reorganization; Ohio; State courts
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