May 4, 2018
Changes in recent years to California’s budget, priorities, and policies have resulted in a focus on criminal over civil matters. In the yearly State of the Judiciary address, however, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye highlighted some of the ways California is planning to improve access to justice in its courts. Among them: better meeting the needs of self-represented litigants.
Carolyn A. Tyler
May 1, 2018
America’s civil justice system is failing to deliver on the promise of a just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution in every case. However, by taking charge of cases from their beginning to end, courts have the power to change that. IAALS’ latest report, Redefining Case Management, offers strategies to help the courts take charge of the delivery of justice in response to the changing landscape in our courts.
April 30, 2018
In our previous blog, we explained that the 77 foundations survey respondents identified as being necessary for new lawyers immediately upon graduation from law school are consistent and definitive throughout the practice of law. The similarities we saw in responses across demographics, firm sizes, and practice-specific characteristics suggest that the findings can be employed with confidence by law schools, the profession, employers, and others to facilitate the development of crucial foundations needed by lawyers right out of law school. Nonetheless, there were a few notable practically significant differences that arose among the various practice settings we studied.
Carolyn A. Tyler
April 30, 2018
In Colorado, April 19, 2018, will forever be known as “The Conference of Chief Justices Day” thanks to an official proclamation by Governor John Hickenlooper. The proclamation was delivered at IAALS’ annual Rebuilding Justice Award Dinner by Doug Scrivner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Denver and IAALS Board of Advisors Member. The dinner centered around the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and honored and celebrated their leadership and work to improve America’s civil and family courts. The issue of declining confidence in the courts was the subject of another evening highlight: a fireside chat with several attending Chief Justices.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
April 26, 2018
Greg and I have known one another for over thirty years. He was a new associate at Gibson Dunn during a period in my career when I was working with Gibson Dunn, primarily on water and oil and gas matters. Back then, Greg was green, and I was just a little less so. But, we overlapped for only a short time. I next encountered Greg primarily through his mother, who lived at the time in our neighborhood and rode her bike everywhere. We would see one another at the grocery store or on the street, and she would tell me about Greg’s career and about her other children as well. The Kerwin family is an extraordinary family.
April 12, 2018
It is inspiring to watch as more and more states begin to address access to justice issues within their own courts. Arizona has been a leader in taking up the Call to Action from the Conference of Chief Justices and is in the process of implementing reforms. Arizona’s Civil Justice Reform Committee issued its report and recommendations, A Call to Reform: The Committee on Civil Justice Reform’s Report to the Arizona Judicial Council, in October 2016. The Supreme Court reviewed those recommendations and issued a series of rule changes that will take effect July 1, 2018.
April 11, 2018
At the end of last year, I posed the question: “was 2017 a year of change?” To which I answered, “yes . . . but not enough.” I challenged the legal industry in 2018 to make goals together and support one another so we can become more client-focused, affordable and truly show the value our legal system provides. Several have accepted the challenge, including an entity that’s been a leader in advancing the legal system since its inception: IAALS. One example of their collaborative leadership was co-hosting the “Better Access through Unbundling” conference with the ABA late last year, at which I had the pleasure of being a panelist.
April 5, 2018
The IAALS Court Compass project is exploring streamlined and simplified solutions that help people through the divorce and separation process. While the project aims to make the process better for all litigants, there is a particular focus on people who go to court without an attorney. The Court Compass project is employing a number of human-centered design tools, including in-person design sprints and other focus groups to test new processes and solutions in real time and refine them based on user feedback. IAALS and the Iowa Judicial Branch are partnering to bring a design sprint workshop to Des Moines later this month.
April 4, 2018
Another online platform to help couples streamline the divorce process has entered the market. It’s Over Easy was founded by Laura Wasser, a well-known divorce attorney who handles high-stakes celebrity divorces. “Couples today date online and bank online,” Wasser said. “They don’t mind putting in their assets and liabilities into a computer. They’re do-it-yourselfers. If they can buy an espresso maker online, they can get divorced online.”
Carolyn A. Tyler
March 29, 2018
On Thursday, April 19, IAALS will present the Conference of Chief Justices with our highest honor: the Rebuilding Justice Award. We are thrilled that several Chief Justices from across the nation will attend and Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, President of the Conference of Chief Justices and chair of the National Center for State Courts Board of Directors, will accept the award.
March 28, 2018
Talking about civil justice reform only gets us so far. The key to change is taking concrete steps on the ground and implementing practical solutions. IAALS’ own Rebecca Love Kourlis and Brittany Kauffman authored a piece for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal’s Civil Justice Playbook that dives into this discussion and highlights ways IAALS is working with judges and courts to make that change a reality in the realm of discovery.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 27, 2018
Walter is a man of many accomplishments, many firsts, many awards—none of which he ever mentions. Just to give a "flavor" (notice the food theme throughout) of some of them: graduation from high school at 16; first African American to become Student Body Vice President at the University of Denver; first African American to work for Tenneco Oil’s legal department and for Texas Instruments in Dallas, first to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas, first to head up the Environmental Protection Agency in Dallas; deputy Federal Highway Administrator in the Clinton administration and manager of Walmart’s Legal Department diversity initiatives. He has opened doors, opened minds, and led an extraordinarily distinguished career, including being President of the National Bar Association.