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The Problem of Congestion and Delay in the Federal Courts

Henry P. Chandler
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 328, Lagging Justice (Mar., 1960), pp. 144-152
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1032730
Page Count: 9
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The Problem of Congestion and Delay in the Federal Courts
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Abstract

In order to co-ordinate the work of the federal courts there was created in 1922 the Judicial Conference of the United States. In 1939 a law provided for a director of an administrative office to serve as executive assistant to the Conference and for judicial councils of the circuits consisting of the judges of the courts of appeals to exercise local supervision. The district judges have been given the assistance of law clerks; pre-trial conferences to reduce and simplify the issues before trial and incidentally to conduce to settlements have been promoted; and the judicial output of the individual judges has increased. But serious congestion and delay remain in some courts. For firmer administration the Judicial Conference should be authorized to prescribe administrative practices instead of merely to make suggestions; the chairmen of the judicial councils should have administrative assistants; and chief judges of courts should be appointed instead of succeeding by length of service. The paramount need is for more judges to cope with the present volume of litigation. The Congress is under a clear duty to provide for them.

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