In 1990, Congress enacted the Civil Justice Reform Act ("CJRA"), a measure which could substantially change the nature of federal civil litigation. One aspect of the CJRA that provides evidence respecting the progress of civil justice reform is the civil justice expense and delay reduction plans issued in late 1991 by the thirty-four federal district courts which the Judicial Conference of the United States designated as Early Implementation District Courts ("EIDCs").
Congress is currently attempting to assess the reforms included in these plans, which constitute the initial significant step in implementing the CJRA. By some oversight, Congress has not invited me to testify. Indeed, Congress has failed even to schedule a hearing, despite the growing controversy over civil justice reform. I, therefore, must content myself with this Essay.
The Essay first briefly examines the requirements of the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and then analyzes statutory implementation in the federal districts which have attained EIDC status. This evaluation finds that the early reform efforts, while prom1smg, have also had less advisable features. The Essay concludes with suggestions that Congress should adopt to ameliorate these problems.
Carl Tobias, Essay, Recalibrating the Civil Justice Reform Act, 30 Harv. J. on Legis. 115 (1993)