Constraining Lawyers and Judges: Reflections on the Civil Justice Reform Act, the Civil Jury, Rulemaking, and Congressional Control of the Federal Judiciary
Posted: 5 Sep 1997
Date Written: May 1997
In 1990, Congress enacted the Civil Justice Reform Act targeted at reducing cost and delay in the federal courts. In 1997, RAND released its report that the CJRA had relatively little impact, and further that efforts aimed at reducing time increased costs.Using the CJRA and the changing size of the civil jury as examples, this essay examines the process by which procedural rules have changed over the past five decades and the respective roles of the federal judiciary and of the Congress. Professor Resnik traces the history of judicial efforts to control civil pretrial processes and the interaction between local and national rules. She examines the growth of judicial discretion over civil processes and describes contemporary efforts by COngress to constrain judicial adjudicatory authority. Her analysis suggests that, while the federal judiciary has been mindful of its own powers in terms of doctrine or commentary supporting its constitutional charter to adjudicate.
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