University of Denver

New Perspective on Familiar Recommendations for Addressing Costs and Delays in Civil Litigation

Former Senior Director

IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announces the release of Another Voice: Financial Experts on Reducing Client Costs in Civil Litigation, a new report prepared in collaboration with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that evaluates the cost and delays of litigation from a new perspective: that of financial expert witnesses.

The report is the latest in a series of national studies, focusing primarily on lawyers and judges, to explore the efficacy of the civil justice system, and, more specifically, to develop recommendations for changes designed to support the promise of a “just, speedy, and inexpensive” system as established by Rule One of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and state analogues.

Another Voice moves the conversation beyond lawyers and judges by engaging financial experts, who often play a significant role in litigation. Their recommendations find common ground with those of previous studies, including those laid out in the Final Report on the Joint Project of the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (2009).

“One of the most interesting outcomes of this collaboration is that other key players in litigation—in this case, financial experts—are coming to the same conclusions about the system as lawyers and judges,” said Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director of IAALS, who worked with AICPA's Civil Justice Task Force as they developed the report's recommendations. “It's clear we need early and active case management, streamlined and targeted discovery, collaboration, and cooperation if Rule One is to carry weight.”

“CPAs are regularly called on to provide financial expertise in civil litigation, so we have an interest in seeing the court system function in the smoothest, efficient and most cost effective manner,” said Anthony Pugliese, CPA, CITP, CGMA, AICPA senior vice president of finance, operations and member value. “We were pleased to participate and have the voice of our profession heard in this survey.”

IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system. By leveraging a unique blend of empirical and legal research, innovative solutions, broad-based collaboration, communications, and ongoing measurement in strategically selected, high-impact areas, IAALS is empowering others with the knowledge, models, and will to advance a more accessible, efficient, and accountable civil justice system.

AICPA is the world's largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 386,000 members in 128 countries and a 125-year heritage of serving the public interest. AICPA members represent many practice areas, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

Alli Gerkman, Director of Communications