Project Updates

Evaluation of Civil Justice Improvements in Miami-Dade County 
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida (Miami-Dade County) implemented the use of Civil Case Management Teams (CCMTs) in November 2017 as a demonstration pilot project for the CJI Implementation Plan. CCMTs are designed to streamline civil case processing by delegating routine case management tasks to specially trained court staff, allowing judges to focus on more complicated legal and case management issues that require their unique expertise and skills. In its evaluation of the pilot project, the NCSC found that cases assigned to CCMTs had a higher closure rate than cases assigned to judges operating under traditional case management processes (baseline cases). In fact, the pilot project cases closed approximately five months earlier, on average, than baseline cases. Overall, attorneys in cases assigned to the pilot project were satisfied with the improvements. The evaluation report also discusses lessons learned from the implementation process.

Did you miss the last CJI webinar?
On April 18, 2019, Judge Randall Warner (Arizona Superior Court) and attorney Don Bivens discussed techniques to make motions practice more efficient and effective. That webinar and others are posted on the CJI website.

What's New

Google is ending forced arbitration in a monumental win for its workers
In February 2019, Google ended its forced-arbitration policy of employment disputes. Employees are now able to bring their claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, wage theft, and other violations directly to court, including through class-action lawsuits.

Supreme Court of Utah opinions - Pilot v. Hill (filed March 1, 2019)
The plaintiff sought to amend the complaint after trial to avoid the $300,000 limit on recoverable damages associated with the discovery tier selected at filing. In affirming the trial court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion, the Supreme Court of Utah discusses the background and rationale for the rule changes adopted in 2013 to address the increasing costs and expenses of lengthy trials on potential litigants that were dissuading litigants from bringing their cases to courts.

Why summary jury trials haven’t caught on with most judges
With a survey showing 9 out of 10 NJC alumni stating they do not employ summary jury trials, the article looks at why judges believe that this alternative-dispute-resolution tool uses up valuable court time and resources.

In the Journals

"Damage caps and defensive medicine: Reexamination with patient-level data"
This article examines the relationship between caps on noneconomic damages and the practice of “defensive medicine” by physicians to avoid malpractice liability. The study analyzes health-care spending on imaging rates, cardiac interventions, and lab and radiology tests in states that adopted damage caps between 2002 and 2005. Noting that “the conventional wisdom is that physicians conduct more testing in response to malpractice risk,” the authors found mixed results. Stress tests, MRI, and CT scans had modestly higher testing rates following damage-cap adoptions while cardiac- intervention rates fell.

About this project:
The National Center for State Courts Civil Justice Initiative is dedicated to developing a wide range of research and implementation tools to inform civil justice reform efforts. This website serves as a national repository of these and other resources and tools dedicated to improving state civil justice systems.