Preliminary Observations on Implementation of the Pilot Program of the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990

by Terence Dunworth, James S. Kakalik

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The RAND Institute for Civil Justice is evaluating the pilot program of the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 at the request of the Judicial Conference of the United States. This article reviews the design of the evaluation and presents RAND's preliminary observations about the implementation of the pilot program. RAND's primary interim conclusions are that case-management procedures vary greatly among the various district courts, and that one result of the pilot program has been to increase this variation. Some districts have moved aggressively to implement the policies of the pilot program, while others remain more cautious. However, the authors note that even in those districts whose explicit policies have changed the least under the pilot program, the implementation process has heightened the sensitivity of lawyers, judges, and clerks to the problems of litigation costs and delay.

Originally published in: Stanford Law Review, v. 46, no. 6, July 1994, pp. 1303-1337.

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