The Montana Federal District Court and thirty-three other federal districts recently took steps to qualify as Early Implementation District Courts (EIDC) under the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990. The Montana District completed the development of its civil justice expense and delay reduction plan, which also includes numerous proposed amendments of the local rules necessary to implement the plan, before the December 31, 1991 statutory deadline. In the last issue of this journal, I analyzed the work that preceded development of the plan. I examined the efforts of the Advisory Group to Implement the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 (Group) and its August 1991 report to the Montana District Court. I also criticized certain aspects of the recommendations that the Group made in its report. The plan includes numerous concepts that should improve civil justice in the Montana Federal District Court. Nevertheless, I believe that some features of the plan could prove problematic for judicial officers, lawyers and litigants in the Montana District and that a few may even increase delay and expense. Those dimensions of the plan that I consider most troubling are the focus of this essay.
Carl Tobias, The Montana Federal Civil Justice Plan, 53 Mont. L. Rev. 91 (1992)