Tag Archives: IAALS

Colorado Civil Access Pilot Project Preliminary Analysis Released

The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, has released a report detailing their Preliminary Analysis of the CAPP process.  From the IAALS blog, here is a partial summary of their findings:

Our initial analysis reveals that the CAPP process as a whole has succeeded in achieving many of its intended effects, including a reduced time to disposition, increased court interaction, proportional discovery and costs, and a lower level of motions practice. Much of the positive feedback relates to CAPP’s early, active, and ongoing judicial management of cases, with many calling for this to become a permanent feature of the rules. For those cases that are at least minimally contested, one of the challenges of the project relates to differences between simple and complex cases. The first part of the CAPP process (rolling and staggered deadlines for pleadings and initial disclosures) appears to work better in simple cases, while it can fall apart in complex cases. The second part of the CAPP process (everything from the joint case management report forward) appears to provide a real benefit for complex cases, while it can be too much for simple cases. This is just one nuance in the results, and the full report will provide interesting reading for those engaged in these issues—both inside and outside of Colorado.

The CAPP Rules were implemented by the Colorado Supreme Court to test whether “adopting certain rules regarding the control of the discovery process reduces the expense of civil litigation in certain business actions, and . . . the use of modified rules of Civil Procedure concerning the pleading, discovery and trial management of certain cases” would improve the civil litigation process.  As noted by the IAALS:

[T]he CAPP rules were designed to bring the disputed issues to light at the earliest possible point, tailor the process proportionally to the needs of the case, provide active case management by a single judge, and move the case quickly toward trial or other appropriate resolution.

All civil litigators in Colorado should be carefully following the progress of this Pilot Project.  The Colorado Supreme Court has already issued opinions requiring judges to actively intervene early in the discovery process.  In DCP Midstream, LP, v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Onshore LP; and Kerr-McGee Gathering LLC, 2013 CO 36 (June 24, 2013) the Court noted that:

The overriding purpose of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure is “to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.” C.R.C.P. 1. To this end, our rules reflect a growing effort to require active judicial management of pretrial matters to reduce delay and the increased costs associated with it. “Delay devalues judgments, creates anxiety in litigants and uncertainty for lawyers, results in loss or deterioration of evidence, [and] wastes court resources.” . . . Delay also increases costs. The increased costs associated with protracted litigation may force a party into an unwarranted settlement or may deter a party from bringing a viable claim. Active judicial management is necessary to address these problems, and our rules have evolved to stress this principle.

Regardless of form, active case management in civil cases is now the rule and not the exception.

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CRCP 16.1: Under a Microscope, Open for Discussion

The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System has released its report examining CRCP 16.1. That Rule provides for a simplified pretrial procedure for actions seeking $100,000 or less from any one party. The original goal was to reduce the time to disposition and reduce costs for litigants. IAALS’s survey, however, suggests it has not been particularly effective, and that it does not address the concerns of litigants. For example, it notes that attorneys are highly skeptical of using disclosures as an alternative to discovery. The following commentary in the report is particularly enlightening:

“One attorney noted that the disclosure process has become ‘an art in evasion,’ another likened the task of continually having to request disclosure of relevant information to ‘pulling teeth,’ and a third noted the inability to ‘test the completeness and accuracy’ of disclosures.”

To read the full report, click HERE.

Click HERE for a link to a point/counter-point discussion on CRCP 16.1 in The Colorado Lawyer. (Please note that the document opened properly using Internet Explorer, but not with Google Chrome).

The CLR would like your opinion — please leave a comment below. (Please note comments may be submitted anonymously  and are moderated before they are posted.)

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