The fundamental ideal to which we aspire in the field of civil procedure is the perfect balance between expeditious results and correct results in the administration of justice. Two famous quotations from two famous English Equity judges come to mind. John Scott, Lord Eldon, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain from 1801 to 1827 who was often criticized for being excessively dilatory, said, 'sat cito si sat bene'. Sir George Jessel, Master of the Rolls from 1873 to 1883, once said, 'I may be wrong and sometimes am, but I never have any doubts'. Jessel had his docket under firm control, and he moved the cases before him to speedy conclusions to the general satisfaction of all concerned. Where the stakes are affordable, most clients prefer to have a quick resolution to their problems so that they can move on with thell· lives and affairs. Lawyers are more willing to wait a reasonable amount of time if the judge will carefully consider the reasons for his decision and publish a learned opinion which will be useful as a precedent for the future. This problem is one truly worthy of serious study. Although the solution is beyond the wisdom and experience of this writer, I would like to offer a few thoughts for the benefit, Deo volente, of others. Part One of this essay points out one of the problems of the past. Part Two addresses methods of solution from the past. Part Three gives a suggestion for the future.
W.H. Bryson, Some Old Problems in England and Some New Solutions from Virginia, in The Law's Delay: Essays on Undue Delay in Civil Litigation 47-67 (2004).