Rebuilding Justice
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Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System

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In This Section

Advancing empirically informed models to promote greater accessibility, efficiency, and accountability in civil justice

Cover Art: Allocating the Costs of Discovery: Lessons Learned at Home and Abroad

Allocating the Costs of Discovery: Lessons Learned at Home and Abroad
September 10, 2014

Understanding how the courts and rulemakers have addressed the costs of discovery, including their allocation between the parties, provides important background and context for future recommendations. This report reviews the laws in the United States and other countries and provides examples of, and analogies to, various cost allocation models.

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Cover Art: Summary of Empirical Research on the Civil Justice Process: 2008–2013

Summary of Empirical Research on the Civil Justice Process: 2008–2013
May 22, 2014

This publication provides a synthesis of the relevant empirical research on the civil justice process released from 2008 to 2013. It encapsulates the findings from 39 separate studies into a readable compendium, including IAALS research as well as studies conducted by a variety of organizations and individuals.

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Cover Art: A Summary of the Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs Around the Country

A Summary of the Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs Around the Country
October 22, 2013

Many jurisdictions around the country have implemented alternative processes that are designed to provide litigants with speedy and less expensive access to civil trials. These programs generally involve a simplified pretrial process and a shortened trial on an expedited basis. This resource offers a summary chart of the various programs nationwide.

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Cover Art: Unlocking E-Discovery: A Toolkit for Judges in State Courts Across the Nation

Unlocking E-Discovery: A Toolkit for Judges in State Courts Across the Nation
October 11, 2013

As a companion to our Navigating the Hazards of E-Discovery primer, we offer this toolkit, which collects some of the best resources for state court judges, ranging from judicial primers to model orders to the best glossaries. For both judges and attorneys alike, this toolkit serves as a starting point for learning about electronic discovery in state courts.

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The American Civil Justice System: From Recommendations to Reform in the 21st Century
April 1, 2013

In this article we explore the history of recent efforts to improve the civil justice system in the United States, beginning first with the efforts of IAALS and the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice, which culminated in a Final Report that proposed twenty-nine Principles containing broad ideas to improve the civil justice system.

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Cover Art: Navigating the Hazards of E-Discovery: A Manual for Judges in State Courts Across the Nation

Navigating the Hazards of E-Discovery: A Manual for Judges in State Courts Across the Nation
July 20, 2012

In this Second Edition, IAALS provides an updated manual for state court judges and anyone who needs a basic e-discovery resource that includes the terminology, background, summary of current issues, and relevant case law.

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Reimagining The Civil Process
March 14, 2011Corina Gerety

Colorado’s enactment of Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 16.1 (“Rule 16.1”) more closely resembles the comprehensive theory model of reform than have many other efforts to amend rules, both state and federal.

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Cover Art: Excess and Access

Excess and Access
Consensus on the Civil Justice LandscapeFebruary 28, 2011

Synthesizes the results of four recent studies exploring how attorneys and trial judges across the nation view the civil justice system. Survey respondents overwhelmingly agreed that cost is a concern; delay increases cost; and discovery is responsible for unnecessary cost and delay. Respondents also embraced the need for creative solutions and experimentation.

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Civil Justice at the Crossroads
February 4, 2011Rebecca Love Kourlis

There has been a convergence of various forces resulting in a willingness of decision-makers to consider change.

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Cover Art: Trial Bench Views

Trial Bench Views
Findings from a National Survey on Civil ProcedureDecember 1, 2010

A broad national sample of state and federal judges to gauge their support for civil justice reforms advanced by IAALS and the ACTL Task Force.

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Civil Justice Reforms
Why the Disappearance of Civil Jury Trials is Not AcceptableOctober 22, 2010Rebecca Love Kourlis and Gilbert A. Dickinson

To preserve and restore the civil jury trial, we must make the pretrial process faster, cheaper and more user-friendly. The focus of this article is to highlight a pilot project proposal under development in Colorado to do just that.

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Cover Art: Civil Litigation Survey of Chief Legal Officers and General Counsel

Civil Litigation Survey of Chief Legal Officers and General Counsel
Association of Corporate CounselJuly 1, 2010

This report sets forth the results of our civil litigation survey of Chief Legal Officers and General Counsel belonging to the Association of Corporate Counsel.

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Reinvigorating Pleadings
May 1, 2010Rebecca Love Kourlis, Jordan M. Singer, and Natalie Knowlton

A move to fact-based pleading need not upset the general structure and values of the existing pretrial process. It would simply provide more information up front than is usually available under the current pleading regime, allowing the parties and the court to better focus discovery and motion practice on the issues that are truly in dispute.

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Cover Art: Report from the Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice of the ACTL and IAALS

Report from the Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice of the ACTL and IAALS
2010 Civil Litigation ConferenceMarch 1, 2010

This publication provides an overview of the collaboration between IAALS and the ACTL Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice. It also offers clarification and context for research and recommendations that have generated significant discussion nationwide.

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Cover Art: Civil Case Processing in Oregon Courts

Civil Case Processing in Oregon Courts
An Analysis of Multnomah CountyMarch 1, 2010

This report represents the third stage of an extended IAALS study of civil litigation in Oregon. The first two stages examined civil case processing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and perceptions of the Oregon bench and bar about the state’s civil justice system. This report includes analysis of state and federal dockets in the same county.

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New Report Establishes Principles for Improving the U.S. Civil Justice System
November 30, 2009Rebecca Love Kourlis, Jordan M. Singer, and Paul Sanders

In March 2009, IAALS and the ACTL Task Force released a final report that proposed a set of principles for future civil justice reform. We report here on the content of the final report and the ongoing work of IAALS and the ACTL Task Force to foster positive change to the civil justice system.

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Managing Toward the Goals of Rule 1
October 1, 2009Rebecca Love Kourlis and Jordan M. Singer

Two new studies may help federal judges better achieve the objectives of Rule 1 of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure—a “just, speedy, and inexpensive” resolution of civil cases. The first study stems from an examination of the dockets of nearly 8,000 closed federal civil cases, with the goal of identifying the areas of pretrial activity that are most closely associated with faster or slower times to disposition. The second study is a survey of nearly 1,500 Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, seeking their perceptions of and experience with the pretrial process.

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Survey of Experienced Litigators Finds Serious Cracks in U.S. Civil Justice System
September 1, 2008Rebecca Love Kourlis, Jordan M. Singer, and Paul Sanders

In order to explore concerns about the impact of cost and delay on the legal system with specificity, in June 2007 IAALS and the ACTL Task Force on Discovery jointly began work to examine perceived problems associated with pretrial practice—primarily discovery—in civil cases. The focus of the research grew out of reports that the costs and burdens of discovery were precluding some potential plaintiffs from bringing meritorious claims, and were forcing some defendants to settle non-meritorious claims based purely on cost considerations.

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Interim Report on the Joint Project of the ACTL Task Force on Discovery and IAALS
August 1, 2008

In 2008, the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) Task Force on Discovery and IAALS undertook a study of ACTL's Fellows to create a data base for further exploration of the problems associated with discovery. This report shares the survey's findings.

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Cover Art: The Emerging Challenge of Electronic Discovery

The Emerging Challenge of Electronic Discovery
Strategies for American BusinessesJanuary 1, 2008

This report is a must read for small and mid-sized businesses and organizations without e-discovery plans in place. It provides a guide to creating and implementing sound practices with proactive recommendations that will help your business prepare for dealing with e-discovery.

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Cover Art: Electronic Discovery

Electronic Discovery
A View from the Front LinesJanuary 1, 2007

IAALS reached out to those in the trenches – businesses, courts and the legal community – to provide a snapshot of today’s electronic discovery landscape. This report explores the real world implications of e-discovery and the impact of the 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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