The passage of the Judicial Amendments act of 1994 postponed several key implementation deadlines prescribed by the Civil Justice Reform Act (CJRA) of 1990. Perhaps most significantly, the new legislation extends for one year the mid-1995 date when the RAND Corporation, which is studying ten pilot districts' experimentation with cost and delay reduction procedures, must submit its conclusions to the Judicial Conference of the United States. Numerous compelling arguments supported congressional postponement of this deadline. Most importantly, the RAND Corporation can now capture much additional data, which are critical to assessing accurately the procedures' effectiveness in decreasing expense and delay, thereby increasing the value of the innovative civil justice reform effort. Particularly significant, the extension will facilitate RAND's collection, evaluation, and synthesis of considerably more information on the cohort of cases that impose the greatest cost . and delay and, therefore, enhance understanding of the procedures' efficacy in expeditiously concluding that litigation which is the most difficult to resolve.
In short, the one-year extension of the statutory deadline could substantially increase the worth ·of this novel national experiment with expense and delay reduction procedures, even though the modification might seem relatively insignificant. The above factors mean that the section of the Judicial Amendments Act of 1994 that postpones the deadline for completing the study of the pilot districts warrants analysis. This essay undertakes that effort. The paper initially explores the developments that prompted Congress to pass legislation extending the deadline. I first examine the RAND Corporation's empirical assessment in the ten pilot districts and ascertain that the company's compliance with the mid-1995 date on which it was to have submitted the study would have precluded assembling, evaluating, and synthesizing considerable instructive material. The essay concomitantly analyzes the genesis of this problem and finds that several phenomena, such as some pilot districts' delayed implementation of civil justice reform, led to the complication but that RAND had no responsibility for, and was unable to affect, the difficulty.
I next briefly evaluate the 1994 statute's provisions. The paper then assesses whether Congress should have granted the extension by examining the advantages and disadvantages that will probably attend postponement. I ascertain that the benefits will be much greater than the detriments, most of which are comparatively unimportant or appear amenable to amelioration. The essay thus finds that the congressional decision to extend the deadline was appropriate. I conclude with several suggestions for efficaciously implementing the postponement that the 1994 Judicial Amendments Act affords.
Carl Tobias, Extending the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990, 64 U. Cin. L. Rev. 105 (1995)