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Research Note: Measuring Trial Court Consolidation

Victor E. Flango and David B. Rottman
The Justice System Journal
Vol. 16, No. 1 (1992), pp. 65-74
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27976798
Page Count: 10
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Research Note: Measuring Trial Court Consolidation
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Abstract

Simplifying court structure is one of the key features of court unification. After examining changes in court structure over the past 15 years, this research explores the usefulness of three new indicators of consolidated trial court structure. Berkson's index was first updated, replacing 1976 data with data from 1987. This replication found that trial court consolidation increased during the period under study. Next, a more straightforward conception of court structure was used to supersede Berkson's index. Finally, this measure of court structure was combined with three nonorganizational measures—the proportion of limited jurisdiction judges to all judges, extent of court jurisdiction, and jurisdictional clarity—to form an index of trial court consolidation.

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