The Montana Federal District Court recently finalized its civil justice expense and delay reduction plan under the Civil Justice Reform Act (CJRA) of 1990. In April, 1992, the Montana District essentially adopted whole cloth, and made effective, the civil justice plan that it had issued in December, 1991 to qualify for designation as an Early Implementation District Court (EIDC). Relatively few members of the Montana Bar exhibited much interest in the planning effort that preceded promulgation of the civil justice plan. Because the new procedural regime that the Montana District instituted could significantly change the character of federal court practice, all attorneys who litigate in the court must become acquainted with that system. This essay first briefly explores the history of federal· civil justice reform at the national level and in the Montana District. It then analyzes recent developments in civil justice reform nationally and locally. The essay next provides a glance into the future of this important reform.

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