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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78887 Find in a Library
Title: Switching to the Fast Track - New Techniques To Eliminate Court Delay
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:20  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1981)  Pages:complete issue
Author(s): Anonymous
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 64
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These journal articles describe three methods for reducing litigation costs and delay that are part of the program of the American Bar Association's Action Commission to Reduce Court Costs and Delay.
Abstract: The methods described are (1) the use of telephone conferencing to conduct court business, (2) simplified procedures in civil cases, and (3) an appellate package that emphasizes oral argument and limited briefing. Issues discussed in the articles include the present impact of excessive cost and delay in the courts, the obligations of judges and lawyers to make courts more effective, the extent of formality required in adjudication, and the benefits to be derived from a speedy resolution of cases. It is noted that many potential cases are not brought because of the relatively high costs of litigation and long delays -- up to 5 years in some jurisdictions. Some judges are reported to be unwilling to make changes if the only result will be reducing the delay or cost to the lawyers and clients, particularly when the change may result in increased caseloads. While many of the proposals discussed call for simplification of procedures, many argue that this will undermine the substance or the appearance of justice. Important policy questions will need to be resolved about the nature of the public interests in the speedy resolution of cases, since delay can be an important factor where little or no prejudgment interest is paid or where inflation dramatically reduces the value of liquidated damages. The experiments and proposals presented not only offer practical suggestions for reducing litigation cost and delay, but also raise important policy questions about the administration of justice itself. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court case flow management; Court costs; Court delays; Legal fees
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