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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69873 Find in a Library
Title: With Justice Affordable for All - How the Courts Can Reduce Litigation Costs and Delays
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:19  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1980)  Pages:4-9,46-48
Author(s): P Nejelski
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An American Bar Association committee's recommendations for improved court efficiency and LEAA-sponsored projects for court reform are discussed in view of efforts to reduce expense and delay in court procedures and thus make justice equitable.
Abstract: This article examines necessary cost and delay of litigation to determine whether the expense and delay associated with a particular type of litigation are appropriate. Understanding litigation costs and delay requires answering the following questions: (1) can current procedures be changed, simplified, or rationalized; (2) can technology be integrated into the work of the courts; (3) can the flow of cases through the litigation process be improved; and (4) can nonjudges mediate in selected cases. The role of civil action and unitary procedure raise questions about the types of cases to receive different treatment, the selection of these cases, and the treatment they are to receive. In discussing these issues, the article examines the American Bar Association (ABA) Action Commission to Reduce Court Costs and Delays which advocates innovative procedures such as the use of lay legal assistants and computerized systems for 'standardized' legal services and telephone conferences for scheduling cases and taking dispositions. The Economical Litigation Project and other LEAA-funded studies are examining attempts to systematize various stages in the discovery process, to classify cases according to degrees of complexity, and to implement discovery conferences and settlement conferences early in litigation. The Action Commission pilot projects test telecommunication innovations, such as the experimental use of telephones to conduct pretrial hearings in civil motions, and studies factors which affect their adoption. The LEAA-sponsored Court Delay Reduction Programs employ a 'track and team' approach to case management in which prosecution/defender teams are assigned to specific judges and follow blocks of cases from arrest to disposition. Other elements of the management structure include a case docketing or inventory control system, strict time standards, and internal monitoring. Insets outline the goalsof the ABA Action Commission and Action Commission projects. Twenty-five footnotes are appended.
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Court delays; Court reform; Court reorganization; Police management
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