University of Denver

The New Normal: Change Afoot in American Civil Justice System

Associate Director of Communications

This week, IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis penned an article for the ABA Journal's The New Normal, which focuses on how the litigation process is being remade. Kourlis walks down the road that reforms in the civil justice system have taken so far, beginning in 2008 when members of the bar began to sound the alarm about decreasing access to justice.

From there, IAALS and a number of other partner groups and organization have conducted studies and surveys “to gain insights into what is working and what is not in various jurisdictions.” The conclusions drawn by IAALS and the ACTL Task force on Discovery and Civil Justice were released in 2009, including 29 proposed principles aimed at driving “profound change in the way cases are managed and litigated.”

Since then, the system has responded, and momentum is building. Pilot projects are in place around the country at both the state and federal levels. New court rules are being tried, and courts are considering new caseflow management standards. Change is afoot in a growing number of jurisdictions, and many of these efforts are already showing largely positive results.

All of these efforts seek to make the civil justice system more accessible, less costly, less time-consuming, and ultimately more responsive to the needs of the American public.

Click here to read the full article on The New Normal.