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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82495 Find in a Library
Title: Symposium - State Court Reform
Journal: American University Law Review  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1982)  Pages:207-289
Editor(s): M S Bergman
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 81
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Scholars in the field of judicial administration discuss recent and current State court reforms. Papers focus on research and demonstration projects regarding State trial court delay, improvement of caseflow management in appellate courts, rural courts operations, and court system unification.
Abstract: The movement for reduction of court delays was initiated following recommendations of the Court Management Study conducted during 1968-1969 in the District of Columbia, which included court-established time standards, calendar control, and performance evaluation. One paper discusses the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration's (LEAA) Court Delay Reduction Program of 1976, which found that inadequate court information systems often inhibit case processing. The willingness of courts to try improved management techniques is an important factor in reducing delays. Another paper points out that the inundation of appellate courts nationwide has resulted in calls for additional appellate tribunals as well as better caseflow management. Appellate remedies developed by the American Bar Association Action Commission involve delivering trial records by computer-assisted transcription of testimony and substituting short statements by counsel and authorities for extensive briefs. These measures could cut the appeals period to as little as 120 days. Furthermore, appellate judges and court administrators should enforce scheduling, channel different types of appeals to different dispositional tracks, and expand monitoring and review processes. A paper addresses the unique conditions of rural courts, which necessitate State involvement in the reform process, as well as increased use of volunteers and advanced technology in consolidating court functions. The final paper notes that only 10 State court jurisdictions have achieved a significant degree of structural unification (consolidation of all trial courts in that jurisdiction into 1 court). Accelerated State funding of trial courts is likely to result in more administrative unification. Concerns over lack of local initiative and flexibility are often unfounded but should be addressed to provide perspective for future studies. Footnotes are included. For individual papers, see NCJ 82495-99.
Index Term(s): Appellate courts; Caseload management; Court case flow management; Court delays; Court reform; Court reorganization; National Center for State Courts (NCSC); Right to speedy trial; Rural urban comparisons; State court unification; Trial courts
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