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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97866 Find in a Library
Title: Court-Ordered Arbitration - The California Experience
Author(s): E S Rolph; D R Hensler
Corporate Author: Rand Corporation
The Institute for Civil Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Rand Corporation
Santa Monica, CA 90406
Sale Source: Rand Corporation
The Institute for Civil Justice
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90406
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This evaluation of court-administered arbitration in California found that the program has provided some objective benefits since its legally mandated initiation in 1979, particularly to courts, and, in any case, appears to cause no harm.
Abstract: The evaluation focused on the extent of use of arbitration, the speed of dispositions, and the costs in its first year of court-mandated use, 1980. It also considered satisfaction levels of attorneys and litigants. Caseload data were gathered from the 12 large courts, and implementation was studied in detail in 6 courts. Interviews were conducted with judges, court administrators, arbitration administrators, attorneys, and arbitrators. Results show that in its first year, the program diverted about 24,000 cases from the trial calendar onto the arbitration track. About 60 percent of all money damage suits were assigned to the arbitration track in the courts using the program. These cases represented just over 20 percent of the civil caseload. Under the most optimistic assumptions, the savings were about 5 percent of the State's judge-years in 1980. The average net saving in court expenses per case during the first year was $125, for a total of $3 million for the program. Although disposition times varied widely, arbitration produced dispositions considerably faster than those waiting for mandatory assignment or those not assigned to arbitration. Interviews with plaintiff and defense attorneys showed that attorneys experienced benefits of less time per case and perceived that the awards were comparable to those that would have been received from a jury. They reported that their clients were satisfied as well. The program will probably become a permanent part of the justice system. Tables, a figure, and 14 footnotes are supplied.
Index Term(s): California; Court-administered arbitration; Program evaluation; Services effectiveness
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