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Richard Gabriel Describes Trial Reforms to Help Solve Civil Litigation Crisis

 

In a survey conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System in 2010, approximately 80% of 6,800 attorneys and judges nationwide felt that the cost of litigation forced cases to settle for reasons other than merit. All of these increasingly frequent anecdotes beg the question: is the civil justice system like Detroit, heading for bankruptcy? If so, what would be the “Chapter 11” restructuring plan? Will reduced resources, arbitrary limits, and reactive legislation become the norm? In every other significant aspect of our society, such as health care, energy, education, business, and the economy, we measure the performance of those systems.

 

However, we have still not articulated what should be two ongoing goals in our civil justice system: the improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of our Constitutional safeguards.  While these aspirational goals may seem vague and impossible to define, they are not. However, to best study these issues and implement reforms, we need to 1) utilize qualitative measures; 2) put aside our perceived tactical advantages and self interest; and 3) be willing to change the way we litigate and try cases.  None of this will be easy…

 

To read this article on the ASTC Foundation’s blog, Deliberations, please click here.