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Friends of the Court

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1987
6 pages
Courts that have an effective adjunct program, in which lawyers supplement judicial resources, experience significant direct and indirect benefits.
The evaluation producing this conclusion was part of a study conducted from August 1983 to September 1986 by the National Center for State Courts. The analysis focused on programs using judges pro tempore in Pima County Ariz.; Multnomah County, Oreg.; and the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, Phoenix. It also examined three other programs: (1) the use of trial referees for civil trials in the Connecticut Superior Court, (2) the use of mandatory, nonbinding, court-annexed arbitration for civil cases in the Fourth Judicial District Court in Minneapolis, and (3) a settlement program for civil jury cases awaiting a trial date in King County, Wash. The evaluation included a quantitative analysis of caseload data, a qualitative analysis of participants' opinions and attitudes, and a fiscal analysis of the courts' estimated direct and indirect program costs. These analyses showed that well-managed programs can help increase the number of dispositions and reduce the time it takes for cases to reach disposition, especially when the program is part of a larger effort to reduce civil case delay and backlogs. These programs also improve the relationships between judges and attorneys and help attorneys better understand judges' duties and problems. Figures and 4 notes.

Date Published: January 1, 1987