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Full-Text Articles in Law

"It's Not You, It's Your Caseload": Using Cronic To Solve Indigent Defense Underfunding, Samantha Jaffe Jun 2018

"It's Not You, It's Your Caseload": Using Cronic To Solve Indigent Defense Underfunding, Samantha Jaffe

Michigan Law Review

In the United States, defendants in both federal and state prosecutions have the constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. That right is in jeopardy. In the postconviction setting, the standard for ineffective assistance of counsel is prohibitively high, and Congress has restricted federal habeas review. At trial, severe underfunding for state indigent defense systems has led to low pay, little support, and extreme caseloads—which combine to create conditions where lawyers simply cannot represent clients adequately. Overworked public defenders and contract attorneys represent 80 percent of state felony defendants annually. Three out of four countywide public defender systems and fifteen …


Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott Nov 2017

Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Access to justice often equates to access to state courts, and for millions of Americans, using state courts to resolve their disputes—often with the government—is a real challenge. Reforms are regularly proposed in the hopes of improving the situation (e.g., better legal aid), but until recently a significant part of the problem has been structural. Using state courts today for all but the simplest of legal transactions entails at the very least traveling to a courthouse and meeting with a decision maker in person and in a one-on-one setting. Even minimally effective access, therefore, requires time, transportation, and very often …


A Structural Vision Of Habeas Corpus, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2010

A Structural Vision Of Habeas Corpus, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

As scholars have recognized elsewhere in public law, there is no hermetic separation between individual rights and structural or systemic processes of governance. To be sure, it is often helpful to focus on a question as primarily implicating one or the other of those categories. But a full appreciation of a structural rule includes an understanding of its relationship to individuals, and individual rights can both derive from and help shape larger systemic practices. The separation of powers principle, for example, is clearly a matter of structure, but much of its virtue rests on its promise to help protect the …


Procedural Obstacles To Reviewing Ineffective Assistance Of Trial Counsel Claims In State And Federal Postconviction Proceedings., Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2009

Procedural Obstacles To Reviewing Ineffective Assistance Of Trial Counsel Claims In State And Federal Postconviction Proceedings., Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Ineffective assistance of trial counsel is one of the most frequently raised claims in state and federal postconviction petitions. This is hardly surprising given reports of trial attorneys who refuse to investigate their cases before trial, never meet with their clients before the day of trial, and fail to file any motions or object to inadmissible evidence offered at trial. Unfortunately, the current structure of indigent defense funding makes it impossible for many public defenders to provide effective representation to their clients.


Why Children Still Need A Lawyer, Marcia Robinson Lowry, Sara Bartosz Oct 2007

Why Children Still Need A Lawyer, Marcia Robinson Lowry, Sara Bartosz

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Every day approximately 500,000 children across the United States wake up in foster care, most in foster family homes, though many others in group homes and institutions. These children entered the state foster care system as innocent victims of abuse or neglect occurring in their birth homes. As wards of the state, they depend completely on the government to provide for their essential safety and wellbeing and to reconnect them with a permanent family, hopefully their own.

Though state child welfare agencies possess fundamental legal obligations under the United States Constitution and federal and state statutes to provide adequate care …


Colorado's Answer To The Local Rules Problem, William H. Erickson Jan 1983

Colorado's Answer To The Local Rules Problem, William H. Erickson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article examines the checkered history of local rules in the state and federal courts. Part I sketches the development of local rule-making power. Part II focuses on the abuses that have resulted from a nonuniform procedural system. It concludes that the most serious consequence of that abuse - an increase in court costs and delay - has not been addressed adequately by the courts. Part III explores ways in which the local rules problem can be brought under control. Although a number of proposals are discussed, the purpose of this section is to present the approach recently undertaken by …


Appellate Caseload: Meeting The Challenge In Rhode Island, Joseph R. Weisberger Jan 1983

Appellate Caseload: Meeting The Challenge In Rhode Island, Joseph R. Weisberger

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Two of the most challenging and frustrating problems facing appellate courts in America are increasingly congested dockets and the sluggish pace of litigation. In an effort to combat these problems, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island has recently initiated several procedural techniques for screening and settling criminal and civil cases on appeal. These techniques have proven highly effective and should provide other appellate courts at least a partial answer to the burgeoning appellate caseload.


The Organized Bar: A Catalyst For Court Reform, Paul R.J. Connolly Jan 1983

The Organized Bar: A Catalyst For Court Reform, Paul R.J. Connolly

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article theorizes that state and local bar associations can play a vital role in ridding their courts of excessive costs and delay. Theory can become practice, however, only if state and local bars are reorganized to broaden their oversight and lobbying functions, in order to make them more effective vehicles of reform. This Article, then, discusses the role the organized bar can and should play in achieving procedural reform that will reduce the delay and cost of litigation. Part I describes the various stages of the reform process, using the Kentucky experiment as a model, and outlines the contributions …


The Evolution Of State Supreme Courts, Robert A. Kagan, Bliss Cartwright, Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanton Wheeler May 1978

The Evolution Of State Supreme Courts, Robert A. Kagan, Bliss Cartwright, Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanton Wheeler

Michigan Law Review

Part I of this Article describes in broad quantitative terms the changing relationship between the caseload of supreme courts and the population of the states in which these courts sit. Part II examines the various means states used to control supreme court caseloads, the political problems involved, and the types of courts that have resulted. Part III presents evidence that changes in court organization in response to caseload pressure are accompanied by changes in the kinds of cases state supreme courts hear, the style of their opinions, and the results of the cases.


Urban Politics And The Criminal Courts, Milton Heumann Nov 1977

Urban Politics And The Criminal Courts, Milton Heumann

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Urban Politics and the Criminal Courts by Martin A. Levin


Small Claims Courts: An Overview And Recommendation, Alexander Domanskis Jan 1976

Small Claims Courts: An Overview And Recommendation, Alexander Domanskis

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Small claims courts have been in operation in the United States for over sixty years. They were established to function as inexpensive, efficient, and convenient forums for resolving claims which could not be brought economically in ordinary civil courts because of the costs and delays accompanying ordinary civil court proceedings. Small claims courts also reduce administrative delays by resolving a large volume of claims. For example, the District of Columbia small claims court processed 30,000 claims in 1973. Despite the amount of litigation handled by small claims courts, commentators have expressed much dissatisfaction with their operation and practice. Some commentators …


Reducing The Size Of Juries, David M. Powell Jan 1971

Reducing The Size Of Juries, David M. Powell

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In recent years, court dockets have become increasingly congested. The resulting delays place a great burden both on civil litigants and on the criminally accused who often await trial for more than two years. In responding to this problem, jurists have focused on trial by jury and have typically suggested modifications of two types: either limiting access to juries by litigants, or increasing the efficiency of the juries themselves. Some critics have even contended that the anachronistic procedure of jury trials is such an undue burden on the judicial system that it should be abolished in the interest of efficient …