Message from Our Executive Director

Fall is finally upon us and our work at IAALS has never been more focused, relevant, and impactful. We've traveled the country over the last year to speak with litigants about their court experiences to build a foundation of meaningful change; we've worked with law schools to hone their learning outcomes to produce better lawyers; and we've partnered with courts, lawyers, and judges to forge a legal system that is modern, accessible, and worthy of public trust and confidence. We are keenly aware of how much we've accomplished—and how much work there is still to be done. We thank you for being a part of it, as followers, as contributors, as financial supporters, and as champions for our system. The work doesn't happen without your support. Please consider investing in our work.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
October 2018

Partner Profile: Sam Walker
IAALS simply would not be what it is without the support of our partners and friends. This month, we profile Sam Walker, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Sam is genuine and committed—and he looks for ways to advance humanity with humility and grace. He fits right into our mission here at IAALS, and we all benefit greatly from his contributions.

News from IAALS
The Hidden Judiciary:
IAALS Sheds Light on Federal Executive Branch Adjudicators

IAALS' recent report to the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) describes a large but relatively unknown group of executive branch adjudicators who are not “Administrative Law Judges” (ALJs) governed by the Administrative Procedure Act. Like ALJs, these “Non-ALJs” preside over—or hear appeals from—adjudications in which one of the parties can obtain an oral hearing to present evidence. The difference is that the APA does not govern their appointment, tenure, and employment conditions.

ACUS commissioned IAALS to research and provide recommendations concerning non-ALJs’ appointment, independence, and oversight, especially as contrasted with Administrative Law Judges.

Read the summary and Download the report.

Redefining Case Management: A Court Administrator Perspective

IAALS’ recent report, Redefining Case Management, offers strategies to help courts, judges, and attorneys take charge of the delivery of justice and anchor a holistic vision for case management—from start to finish. This month, Alan Carlson, CEO (Ret.) of California's Orange County Superior Court, wrote a guest blog for IAALS on his experiences in court administration.

"As with discovery, case management is to be proportionate to the needs of the case. There should be consistency across cases in the application of case management rules and policies.... [C]ourts must measure their performance in implementing the guidelines, and share this information with the public."

Read more.

The Table is Set for Unbundled Legal Services

IAALS’ post-conference report, Better Access through Unbundling: From Ideation to Implementation, details the themes, recommendations, and strategic plans that emerged from the conference—with takeaways for every jurisdiction, whether or not they have embraced unbundling. This month, two key voices from the conference (and in the world of limited scope representation) wrote guest blogs for IAALS on the topic.

William Hornsby, who served as staff counsel in the ABA’s Division for Legal Services for 30 years, urges that now is the time to bring stakeholders together, solidify strategic plans, and dedicate resources to the advancement of unbundling.

Forrest “Woody” Mosten, known as the “Father of Unbundling”, says that the table is set for the use and growth of unbundling with the development of model rules, bar endorsement, and replicable models to encourage lawyers to unbundle.

Learning from Arizona’s Success: Civil Justice Leaders Share Their Experiences

More and more states are focused on civil justice reform in an effort to ensure their courts are accessible, efficient, and relevant to all—and Arizona has long been a leader in these efforts.

Following a series of rule changes that took effect in July, IAALS teamed up with the leaders behind them to host a webinar last month about Arizona's civil justice efforts and how other states can learn from their successes.

As states around the country seek to implement their own changes, IAALS encourages them to draw upon Arizona as a resource. 

Read more and watch the webinar.

News Briefs
Denver Law Course Highlights Lawyer Well-Being and Foundations for Practice. In direct response to an ABA study on attorney well-being and IAALS’ Foundations for Practice project and findings, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Professor Debra Austin brought to life a class called “Professionalism and Well-Being Skills for the Effective Lawyer,” which began this fall. Read more.

Suggestions to Rebuild Public Trust and Confidence in the Courts. Our courts are suffering from a severe lack of public confidence. In a recent piece for the ABA Journal, ABA President-elect Judy Perry Martinez suggests that the causes are twofold. Read more.
Get Involved
IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to facilitating continuous improvement and advancing excellence in the American legal system. Our mission is to forge innovative and practical solutions to problems in our system in collaboration with the best minds in the country.
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