Family courts operate within a larger court structure that generally reflects the traditional, adversarial approach, which can exacerbate tensions between partners and leave children caught in the crossfire of parental acrimony. This guide is designed to assist family courts in building a menu of robust alternative dispute resolution processes—such as mediation and other methods—that are responsive to the needs of cases and parties.
To help trial judges better manage cases involving self-represented litigants, this guide summarizes effective practices for resolving cases with one or more self-represented litigants in the courtroom and provides specific examples of their application in the family law context.
Not all self-help materials are created equal. This guide is intended to help courts increase the efficacy of existing self-help materials and assist in the development of new materials that empower parties with information and an understanding of what to do with that information.
Understanding what clients want and expect from their lawyers is imperative for the provision of high-quality legal services, as well as for lawyers’ success in the legal profession. This report represents a first step for the profession in developing a comprehensive, evidence-based understanding of what clients value.
IAALS developed an interdisciplinary out-of-court model to provide a comprehensive set of legal and therapeutic services to separating and divorcing families. The model provided families the opportunity to complete the divorce process without ever having to go to court. This report presents insights into the model as well as data from a robust evaluation on how the Center for Out-of-Court Divorce operated.
This publication is a supplemental guide to the Family Justice Initiative's Principles for Family Justice Reform and sets forth best practices to triaging domestic relations cases that match parties and cases to resources and services.
The Family Justice Initiative has released a final report with Principles for Family Justice Reform that cover a broad spectrum of improvements to the way domestic relations cases are handled. The Conference of Chief Justices has approved the Principles.
These Initial Discovery Protocols for First-Party Insurance Property Damage Cases Arising from Disasters provide a new pretrial procedure for cases involving first-party insurance property damage claims arising from man-made or natural disasters. They are designed to be implemented by trial judges, lawyers, and litigants in state and federal courts.
This guide provides courts and similar organizations with the tools to create their own design sprint workshops wherein they can solicit the knowledge and experience from both self-represented litigants and other court stakeholders to simplify and improve court processes.
Judges and attorneys from across the country point to dispositive motions as a critical area for reform. When used appropriately, these motions can make civil litigation more efficient; but when they are filed reflexively, and are not thoughtfully managed or timely ruled upon by the court, they inject additional cost and delay into court systems across the country. This report calls for a new paradigm for motion practice in the United States.
A first of its kind study, this report brings together national data from family cases that confirms what we have long known at IAALS: family courts must do more to focus on problem solving rather than rely on the traditional structure framed around an adversarial approach.
This report provides a summary of the recommendations and solutions coming out of the IAALS/ABA Better Access through Unbundling conference, which are designed to add to the strengthening foundation for widespread implementation of unbundled legal services.
In this report, we make recommendations for judicial discipline systems that are designed to achieve a balance between transparency and accountability, confidentiality and trustworthiness—all with the goal of enhancing public trust and confidence in the judges of this nation.
IAALS has focused on understanding the current motions landscape and issuing recommendations for improvement. This report is intended to spark a national conversation about the current challenges of summary judgment, a process by which the court can rule on a portion or all of the issues in a case without proceeding to trial.