The Impact of Discovery Limitations on Pace, Cost and Satisfaction in Court Annexed Arbitration
30 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2009
Date Written: 1988
This is the first of a series of four articles describing the evaluation results for Hawaii’s mandatory Court-Annexed Arbitration Program (CAAP), a program with a jurisdictional limit $150,000 – the highest jurisdictional limit of any state arbitration program. This article reviews court-annexed arbitration programs across the country, discusses pretrial delay and the high cost of litigation with a focus on pretrial discovery and lawyers’ fees, describes the Hawaii Court-Annexed Arbitration Program in detail, and then presents and interprets data taken from court records and lawyer surveys about the program. A randomized control group of cases not placed in the CAAP was used for comparison. This article only reports on data from surveys from the arbitration cases and not the control group. At the time this article was written, too few cases from the control group sample had terminated and been surveyed to provide sufficient comparison. In addition, this article only reports on arbitration cases that entered CAAP in the first phase of the program when the jurisdictional limit was $50,000 and cases only entered the program when one of the parties requested that the case be placed in CAAP. Later, CAAP rules were amended to require that all cases with a probable jury award of up to $150,000 be placed into the program. The results reported here come from 268 returned surveys from CAAP. The majority of lawyers and arbitrators believed that in the CAAP program 1) discovery was reduced, 2) the discovery reduction did not affect the outcome, 3) costs of litigation were reduced, 4) the pace of litigation was increased, and 5) the lawyers were satisfied with the program.
Keywords: arbitration, court-annexed arbitration, litigation, law, justice system, civil justice, program evaluation, alternative dispute resolution, ADR, program description, litigation, empirical study, research, pretrial discovery, discovery reduction, costs of litigation, pace of litigation, satisfaction
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