Justice Delayed?: An Empirical Analysis of Civil Case Disposition Time
Cornell Law School
This article addresses the need to understand better the civil justice system by exploring possible determinants of disposition time for cases that reach a jury trial. The study uses one year of civil jury case outcomes from 45 of the nation's 75 most populous counties and identifies locale as one important variable, along with certain case types and results and party characteristics. An empirically moored understanding of the causes of case disposition delay will assist reform efforts that seek to make the civil justice system speedier and, as a consequence, more inexpensive and just. Findings from this study call into question the efficacy of recent reform efforts that focus on variables not found to influence civil case disposition time and ignore other variables that exert systematic influence.
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K13, K41
Date posted: January 10, 2000
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