IAALS Report - A Publication of IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
Message from Our Executive Director

Rebecca Love KourlisAs we approach Thanksgiving, we want you to know how thankful we are for your continued support as our partners and fellow champions for change in the American legal system. It is no easy task to implement the real, systemic changes we need to create a legal system that truly serves the American public. But, together we are making incredible progress. Thank you for your interest.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
November 2013

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New Tools to Help Judges with E-Discovery Issues

State and federal court judges alike are faced with complicated e-discovery issues, which are on the rise. IAALS now offers additional resources for judges seeking guidance and techniques to respond to these issues, and hopefully prevent them.

First, we've released a new toolkit for state court judges, which pulls together some of the best resources available, whether you are an expert or a novice with e-discovery issues.

Second, Judge Paul W. Grimm has graciously allowed us to share his Discovery Order. This order is recommended for state and federal court judges alike, as a model and inspiration to manage the pretrial discovery process so as to reduce the cost and burden of discovery.

Evaluating Our Appellate Judges:
Reviewing Performance and Informing Voters

Appellate judges in 38 states stand for election. But how much do we know about them? Are they fair? Do they write opinions that parties can understand? Are they doing a good job?

Only a fraction of states provide such information about appellate judges to voters before elections. We at IAALS are working to change that with our newest publication.

Recommended Tools for Evaluating Appellate Judges provides customizable tools for any state, bar association, or citizens group to gather information about their judges. The report includes guidelines and templates, surveys, and evaluation tools for reviewing an appellate judge's strengths, weaknesses, and overall performance.

ETL Collaborations Help Lead the Way in Improving Legal Education

Discussion about the future of legal education has ramped up following our 2nd Annual Conference. As one participant described it, "you could feel the enthusiasm in the room" as the conference wrapped up.

Since then, discussion has continued on many themes, from changing the bar exam to a fundamental change in the first year of teaching.

Additionally, we're following reactions from law school deans, bench and bar leaders, and the legal professionals who will be responsible for hiring the next generation of lawyers.

What's your point of view? What should be the primary focus of legal education reform? Tell us here!

A Roadmap for Changing Court Procedures to Improve the Civil Justice System


Over the past few years, IAALS has been tracking the Colorado Civil Access Pilot Project, along with numerous other rules projects across the country. These efforts are aimed at providing fewer delays and less expense for everyone that uses our courts.

Our new publication, A Roadmap for Action: Lessons from the Implementation of Recent Civil Rules Projects, outlines some important lessons for the successful creation and implementation of new rules and processes. The right answers will vary by jurisdiction, but these suggestions can help judges, attorneys, and court staff move from a great idea to real action on the ground.

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