An Unmanageable Case-Management Quandary
You are the administrator for a court with 50 employees. This court, which used to dispose of about 700 cases per month, now hears an average of 100 criminal and 400 civil cases per month. Case filings have doubled in the past 7 years. The present “hybrid” combination of the individual and master case-management systems has evolved over a long period of time through tradition and expediency. A growing caseload and increasing difficulties in avoiding a backlog, however, have prompted the judges to rethink their present system. Criminal cases that formerly reached final disposition in 1 month now require 2 to 3 months. The situation shows no signs of improving in the foreseeable future. Again, the court has a mixed calendar system. Two judges are assigned to hear criminal cases and motions for a 1-month period, whereas the remaining four judges hear all manner of civil cases on a random basis on the filing of civil complaints. The judges are responsible for the management of these cases until final disposition. At the end of the 1-month period, the two judges hearing criminal cases return to the civil division and two other judges rotate onto the criminal bench; any pending criminal cases or motions are then heard by these two incoming criminal judges. One of the judges hears all juvenile-related cases in addition to any assignment in the criminal and civil divisions. The court collects statistics on the number of court filings and motions filed in each division on a month-to-month basis.
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QUESTION: In a general way, discuss both the merits and difficulties of this case-management
approach. What are the general advantages and disadvantages of the individual and master calendar systems? Need to be 450-500 words