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Civil Justice Improvements Committee Publishes Civil Case Management Team Guide

In July 2016, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) endorsed the Report and Recommendations of the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements Committee.  The 13 recommendations are intended to reduce cost and delay in civil litigation and improve customer service to litigants.  With SJI support, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) are partnering on a three-year project to implement the CJI Recommendations.

Recommendation 7 proposed a radically different staffing model for civil case processing that delegates substantial responsibility for routine case management to specially trained professional staff supported by effective case technology.  The civil case management team (CCMT) model enables judges to focus on tasks that require unique judicial training and expertise.  The Committee has developed A Guide to Building Civil Case Management Teams (CCMT Guide).  The CCMT Guide:

  • describes case management tasks that court staff should be trained and empowered to undertake under the supervision of one or more judicial officers;
  • provides a checklist of questions for courts to inventory existing staffing and technology resources;
  • provides guidance about the necessary training staff will need to function effectively; and
  • recommends steps for successful implementation at different levels of the court system and across a wide variety of political and organizational settings.

The CJI Implementation Plan is a multi-pronged effort that includes assistance in strategic planning for state judicial leadership; education and technical assistance for state and local courts; evaluation of demonstration pilot projects to document the impact of best practices; and the development of practical tools and instructions on effective implementation efforts.  For more information about the CJI Implementation Plan, visit the CJI website, or contact the Project Director, Paula Hannaford-Agor, at phannaford@ncsc.org.