The Montana Federal District Court has continued to experiment with nearly all of the procedures that the court included in the civil justice expense and delay reduction plan which it officially adopted during April 1992 under the Civil Justice Reform Act (CJRA) of 1990. The most important procedures are automatic disclosure, co-equal assignment of cases to Article III judges and magistrate judges located in Billings, and rather close judicial case management. The judicial officers, who include three active and one senior Article III judges and three full-time magistrate judges, and many Montana attorneys who practice in federal court have now accumulated much experience with these new procedures. The Montana District has undertaken, and will soon complete, efforts to analyze the effectiveness of many of the procedures. A number of new developments relating to national effectuation of federal civil justice reform also have been happening. Perhaps most important, all ninety-four federal district courts have now issued civil justice plans. Significant developments in the federal reform nationally and in the Montana Federal District deserve analysis, so that judicial officers and federal court practitioners in Montana will be aware of these important reforms in federal civil practice.
Carl Tobias, Recent Federal Civil Justice Reform in Montana, 55 Mont. L. Rev. 235 (1994).