University of Denver

Three Colorado Judges Expand Recommendations from "Working Smarter, Not Harder"

Associate Director of Communications
IAALS Intern

Three Colorado jurists who were identified as outstanding case managers in Working Smarter, Not Harder: How Excellent Judges Manage Cases have shared their expanded views of successful practices in an article for The Colorado Lawyer. The judges cover some of the more practical suggestions they have for fellow judges, as well as attorneys.

Roxanne Bailin, recently retired Chief Judge of the Twentieth Judicial District, elaborated on many of her points in the report. Her suggestions include the close tracking of cases with the court's computer systems and keeping close watch on pending motions. She also says that judicial control over the discovery process is important in order to eliminate abuse or unnecessary delay. This control could include determining the number and length of depositions, limiting the number of questions in interrogatories, and determining the order of witnesses to be deposed.

Judge R. Brooke Jackson, who currently presides in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, had advice for both judges and attorneys alike. One piece of advice for lawyers is that they need to cooperate, especially when it comes to discovery disputes. Judge Jackson believes that lawyers should actually talk to each other rather than simply filing motions; if they can't work it out, he wants them to call his chambers so that he can help resolve the issue quickly and more efficiently if possible.

Denver District Court Judge Robert L. McGahey, Jr., takes discovery disputes one step further—he does not allow written discovery motions. Instead, he holds discovery dispute resolution hearings over the lunch hour. He emphatically states that this case management technique has made his docket management, which begins with a case management conference as soon as practically possible after a case is filed, much easier.

For the full list of their expanded recommendations, read The Colorado Lawyer article.

To read more from the full report, download Working Smarter, Not Harder: How Excellent Judges Manage Cases.