California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye today named First District Administrative Presiding Justice Jim Humes as chair of the Appellate Caseflow Workgroup to review Courts of Appeal workflow, policies, procedures, and case management processes to promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency in rendering timely judgments.
“In light of the confidential investigation and stipulated findings from the Commission on Judicial Performance concerning case delays in the Third District Court of Appeal, I am asking Justice Humes to work as quickly as possible to review current appellate case processing techniques and to make any necessary recommendations to me.”
The workgroup will consider, among other things, measures designed to:
- Prevent decisional delay in the appellate courts that may cause prejudice or harm to litigants before those courts by identifying practices and guidelines concerning case processing techniques, calendar management, and the administrative duties required to reduce delays; and
- Provide transparency by requiring appellate courts to report age of case metrics.
The workgroup will solicit input from appellate justices and their staffs, appellate attorneys, and review any other available resources and information concerning best practices for determining calendar management and ensuring the timely disposition of appellate cases.
“I would like a final report no later than early next year,” said the Chief Justice, “but I have asked Justice Humes to report back as soon as practical and to make interim recommendations as necessary.”
Membership of the workgroup will be named next week and will consist of appellate justices, staff attorneys, and appellate specialists from the civil and criminal arena.