The modest objective of this article is to analyze §476 in light of the purpose it was designed to serve, and to evaluate the performance of that section during the two years that it has been in operation. To do that, it is useful to begin by placing §476 in the larger context of ongoing efforts to address and remedy indefensible decision-making delays. Section II will, therefore, summarize the causes of decision-making delay, dividing them among the defensible and the indefensible, and then review existing mechanisms for alleviating indefensible delay. The point worth underscoring is that while defensible delays-particularly delays occasioned by burgeoning caseloads-are undeniably the most significant source of decision-making delay, they are not the only source. Section 476 may properly be understood as the latest in a series of efforts to reduce indefensible delays-delays precipitated by nonstructural inefficiency, indecision, inertia, belligerence or disability. Section III will track the development and implementation of §476. While it is still too early to reach any firm conclusions as to the ultimate success of the section in reducing indefensible delay, preliminary findings are encouraging; delays are declining, and judges appear to be acknowledging that the impact of the section is salutary. Even at this early date, then, the evidence may be sufficient to justify Congress in lifting the sunset provision as it applies to §476.
Charles Gardner Geyh,
Adverse Publicity as a Means of Reducing Judicial Decision-Making Delay: Periodic Disclosure of Pending Motions, Bench Trials and Cases under the Civil Justice Reform Act,
41 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol41/iss3/5