Just, Speedy, and Inexpensive? : An Evaluation of Judicial Case Management Under the Civil Justice Reform Act
Jan 1, 1996
The Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 (CJRA) required each federal district court to develop a case management plan to reduce costs and delay. The legislation also created a pilot program to test six principles of case management, and required an independent evaluation to assess their effects. This report is one of four documents describing the evaluation, which was conducted by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice. The report describes the effects of the CJRA case management principles on time to disposition, costs, and participants' satisfaction and views of fairness. The study found that the CJRA's package of case management policies, as implemented, had little effect on any of these outcomes. However, what judges do to manage cases does matter. A package of procedures containing early judicial management, early setting of a trial date, and shorter time to discovery cutoff could reduce time to disposition by 30 percent, with no change in litigation costs, satisfaction, or perceived fairness. See also MR-800-ICJ, MR-801-ICJ, and MR-803-ICJ.