Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $500,000)
NIJ staff requested that the project be reduced from the original application request of approximately $1,000,000 to individual research projects to amount to $500,000. The projects proposed by the applicant include research in five areas: 1) Class Action Certification Procedures in State Courts; 2) Understanding the Profile of Medical Malpractice Litigation for Tort Reform; 3) Medicare and Medicaid Liens Against Recoveries; 4) Variations in Admissibility Criteria for Expert Evidence; and 5) An Evaluation of the Use of Summary Jury Trials as an Alternative to Mandatory Arbitration. These projects focus on the most common types of civil justice reforms that have been implemented or proposed in state courts and the major research questions associated with those reforms. They include stricter criteria for class certification; caps on non-economic damages; restrictions on the availability and amounts of punitive damages; closer judicial screening of proposed expert witnesses and testimony; the removal of certain types of cases from the adjudicative process; judicial review and restrictions on legal fees including contingency fees; and mandatory arbitration. Each project will be more fully developed and will be conducted as independent projects and reported separately.