CASEFLOW MANAGEMENT Date(s) Educational Program or Sponsor Faculty 2.5 Day Toolbox
PURPOSES OF COURTS • To do individual justice in individual cases • To appear to do justice in individual cases • To provide a forum for the resolution of legal disputes • To protect citizens against arbitrary use of Government power • To make a formal record of legal status • To deter criminal behavior • To help rehabilitate persons convicted of crimes • To separate persons convicted of serious offenses from society Time destroys the purposes of courts. The purpose underlying CFM is not faster and faster and more and more, it is justice. CFM is a justice not an efficiency driven activity.
LOCAL LEGAL CULTURE Source: Thomas Church et al, Justice Delayed, NCSC, 1978.
SIN QUO NON THE COURT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPERVISING CASE PROGRESS.
ABA STANDARDS RELATING TO COURT DELAY REDUCTION Standard 2.50 Case flow Management and Delay Reduction: General Principle From the commencement of litigation to its resolution, whether by trial or settlement, any elapsed time other than reasonably required for pleadings, discovery, and court events, is unacceptable and should be eliminated. To enable just and efficient resolution of cases, the court, not the lawyers or litigants, should control the pace of litigation. A strong judicial commitment is essential to reducing delay and, once achieved, maintaining a current docket.
Leadership Standards Information Related to Standards Timely Accurate Clearly Presented Used for Continuous Improvement THREE THINGS THAT COURTS MUST HAVE
This is the key element The chief judge sets the tone Judges must: Manage judges Be committed and show commitment Involve other judges, other agencies, staff, court administrators, and others Establish courtwide policy Establish partnership with court administrator and the clerk JUDICIAL COMMITMENT AND LEADERSHIP
Accountability Persistence Willingness to initiate change Continuity Pet projects do not survive CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFULLY MANAGED COURTS
Lack of leadership skills Lack of willingness to lead Frequent changes of leadership WHY MANY COURTS HAVE LEADERSHIP FAILURES
For the system as a whole For parts of the system For individual cases STANDARDS
Filing to disposition all case types Pending cases all case types MICRO • Time between events • Individual cases TYPES OF STANDARDS MACRO • RELATED GOALS • Continuances • Cases over standard
New Jersey Civil Time Standards *ACMS is the automated case management system, which provides notices based on elapsed time in individual cases.
Promote Expedition and Timeliness Motivation Organize CFM software and MIS Stimulate new programs and procedures Internal and External Accountability: cCourt systems, courts and their leaders, management, programs and individuals WHY STANDARDS ARE HELPFUL
Timely Accurate Clearly Presented Used for Continuous Improvement INFORMATION
Level I Basic Information Level II For Efficient Information Level III For Top Management Efficiency CASEFLOW MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS:MONITORING LEVELS
How many cases are filed each year? How many cases are pending? How many cases are pending on each judge team and each judge’s docket? How old are the pending cases? LEVEL I Questions you must be able to answer for basic CFM and docket management
What is the status of each case? What was the last event? When did it occur? What is the next event? When is it scheduled? How many cases are disposed each year? How many cases do each judge dispose each year, month, week, and day? How do the cases reach disposition, i.e., how many by jury, bench trial, settlement/plea, dismissal, etc.? How old are the cases when they reach disposition? LEVEL I(Continued)
How old are all pending cases and how old are cases at disposition? When do dispositions occur? How many cases settle on the day of trial? How many settle before a trial date is set? How many events are set? How many are held? How many events are adjourned/ continued/dismissed? What is the continuance rate for events other than trials? What is the trial rate? How many cases are scheduled for trial that never result in a trial? LEVEL II
How many appearances are there per case? How many appearances per case would there be if continuances were eliminated? LEVEL II(Continued)
How do the flow chart and the reverse telescope compare with court perceptions of the system? What are the trial probability rates for each type of case? Is judge time being efficiently utilized? What are the short- and long-term trends? Based on the data, what problems can be anticipated? What steps can be taken now to avoid future problems? LEVEL III Questions you must be able to answer for top docket management efficiency
What are system strengths and weaknesses? What can be done to improve the system? What is the source of docket problems? Which cases are getting old? Why? Who is responsible? LEVEL III(Continued)
80% Answered 60% At Issue 45% to ADR 35% Settlement Conference 15% Pretrial 5% Trial Starts Cases Filed 100% 10% Trial Starts 15% Pleas On Trial Setting(s) 50% Begin Trial 60% Pretrial Conference/Motions Hearing 80% First Appearance/Preliminary Hearing 97% Arraignment CRIMINAL REVERSE TELESCOPE CIVIL 2% Trial 5% Trial
Lawyers settle cases, not judges Lawyers settle cases when prepared Lawyers prepare for significant events THREE AXIOMS
Early control Continuous control On a short schedule Be reasonably arbitrary Create the expectation and reality that events happen when scheduled FIVE PRINCIPLES
GROUP EXERCISE: EARLY AND CONTINUOUS CONTROL RULE 2.507
Individual Master Team Hybrid CALENDARING SYSTEMS:THE BASICS Types of Case Assignment Systems
Cases Filed Judge Judge Judge Judge Judge Motions Pretrial Conferences Dispositions Motions Pretrial Conferences Dispositions Motions Pretrial Conferences Dispositions Motions Pretrial Conferences Dispositions Motions Pretrial Conferences Dispositions INDIVIDUAL CALENDAR SYSTEM
Autonomy and Responsibility Accountability Competition Motions Practice Continuity and Familiarity Eliminate Judge Shopping INDIVIDUAL CALENDAR ALLEGED STRENGTHS Source: Maureen Solomon, Case flow Management in the Trial Court, ABA, 1973.
Cases Filed Master Calendar Judge Pretrials Arraignments Motions Continuances Judge Judge Judge Judge Judge Disposition Disposition Disposition Disposition Disposition MASTER CALENDAR SYSTEM
Use of Time Trial Date Certainty Uniform Disposition Rates Central Control Team Spirit Specialization Pre Trial Continuity Court Wide Less Expensive MASTER CALENDAR ALLEGED STRENGTHS Source: Maureen Solomon, Case flow Management in the Trial Court, ABA, 1973.
Cases Filed Assigned to Team Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Master Calendar Judge Judge 1 Judge 2 Judge 3 Master Arraignment (Rotating) TrialJudge TrialJudge TrialJudge 1 TrialJudge 2 TrialJudge 3 Team Calendar System
Same as Individual Calendar: Accountability, Consistency and Competition More Cooperation to achieve goals, shape the work so no courtrooms fall behind Reduce Judicial isolation More willingness to attempt change; change is less threatening, more shared risk Everyone looking at the same problems, seeking common solutions TEAM CALENDAR STRENGTHS
Difficult to make groups function as teams Difficult system to maintain over time, keep the teams meeting and working as a team Difficult to recruit or appoint effective team leaders WEAKNESSES
Cases Filed Motions Filed Motions Judge Pretrial Conference Requested PRETRIAL EXAMINER Notice of Issue Filed READY-FOR-TRIAL STATUS To Judge To Judge To Judge To Judge To Judge Pretrial Conference If Not Held Earlier* Pretrial Conference If Not Held Earlier* Pretrial Conference If Not Held Earlier* Pretrial Conference If Not Held Earlier* Pretrial Conference If Not Held Earlier* Disposition Motions Motions Motions Motions Disposition Disposition Disposition Disposition Motions HYBRID CALENDAR SYSTEM - 1
Cases Filed Random Assignment To Judge To Judge To Judge To Judge To Judge Motions Motions Motions Motions Motions Pretrial Conference Pretrial Conference Pretrial Conference Pretrial Conference Pretrial Conference Ready-for-Trial Status Ready-for-Trial Status Ready-for-Trial Status Ready-for-Trial Status Ready-for-Trial Status CENTRAL TRIAL POOL Assigned by Assignment Office Trial Date To Judge To Judge To Judge To Judge To Judge Disposition Disposition Disposition Disposition Disposition HYBRID CALENDAR SYSTEM - 2
Allows judges and administrators to use the most effective and efficient calendar type for various types of cases Provides greatest flexibility. Can use different calendar types for difference DCM tracks Allows managers to take advantage of the strengths of individual judges Various parts of the system can be changed without changing the entire system HYBRID CALENDAR STRENGTHS
More complex therefore more difficult to monitor Requires an effective automated information system because so much monitoring is required HYBRID CALENDAR WEAKNESSES
Collective Responsibility Court Control Continuing Consultation Standard Procedures Restrictive Continuance Policy Central Control and Coordination Time Standards Filing to Disposition Measurement of Performance Change COMMON ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS Source: Maureen Solomon, Case flow Management in the Trial Court, ABA, 1973.
State mandates Number of judges Judges’ management skill levels and personalities Number and types of cases being managed Degree of cooperation among judges Preferences of most judges Available and likely staff and information resources FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A CASE ASSIGNMENT SYSTEM
Non-trial Trial EARLY COURT INTERVENTION AND EARLY DISPOSITIONS
Trial All other Dispositions 98% Dismissals 27% Default & Summary Judgments 9% Other 10% CAMDEN CIVIL DISPOSITIONS 2% Settlements 52%
Obtain dispositions before trial dates are scheduled Provide information necessary for lawyer preparation and all other decision makers to make decisions as early as possible Create an early disposition climate Create special early disposition tracks and programs for certain types of cases (DCM) GUIDELINES FOR EARLYNON-TRIAL DISPOSITIONS(THE OTHER 98%)
CONTROLLING CONTINUANCES No system will work if continuances are allowed.