University of Denver

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

Updated July 2016
Senior Director

In response to increasing pressures on the civil justice system, both at the state and federal level, many jurisdictions around the country have implemented an alternative process that is designed to provide litigants with speedy and less expensive access to civil trials. These programs are known by many different names—“Expedited Trial Program,” “Short Trial Program,” “Individualized Trial Program”—but regardless of their title, they generally involve a simplified pretrial process and a shortened trial on an expedited basis.

As a supplemental resource to A Return to Trials: Implementing Efficient Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs, which provides recommendations for designing, implementing, conducting, and measuring effective programs, we offer this summary chart of the various programs nationwide and their unique elements. Originally released in October 2013, the chart was updated in July 2016 to reflect a current snapshot of the programs around the country.