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INDIANA: "Commission on the Courts" Consisting of Court and Legislative Members - et tu Ky?
By Michael Stevens
Indiana Law Blog has a routine entry announcing issues to be reviewed by its "Commission on the Courts" - Interim Legislative Committee to study court issues - which also referenced an earlier post which is a "groups of lawmakers who gather throughout the summer to brainstorm what issues might need to be dealt with in the law."
I am not aware of a similar entity in Kentucky consisting of members of the legislature, judiciary, and local county representatives, but it sounds like something to think about. Reliance upon legal changes solely at the leisure of the legislature and prompted by self-interest of various groups who each have their own agenda is not the ideal way of effecting change.
The Indiana folks will be looking at judicial mandates (whatever those are), judicial elections/appointments/retentions, and a unified statewide mechanics lien apparatus.
I hear a lot of ideas bandied about in Kentucky by lawyers and others on how to improve the quality of our system. But, there seems to no single entity with the public protection and interest in mind with a systematic process (meetings, minutes, methods, etc).
We reported earlier this year on the creation of a committee to look into the ethical rules on class action and tort litigation in the Commonwealth.
Feb. 5, 2008. Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert has appointed 12 Kentucky attorneys to a committee that will study mass tort and class action litigation cases. The Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation Committee will determine whether current court rules for attorneys and judges provide adequate safeguards against unethical conduct and whether rule changes may provide guidance to attorneys and courts dealing with complex litigation.
However, a hit or miss approach to the problem of the moment is an episodic rather than a systemic approach to problem solving and solutions. Plus this committee included only lawyers since it was apparently focusing solely on the concerns of unethical conduct.
Be it the legislature, the judiciary, the bar (KBA, LBA, FBA, NKBA), or a group of volunteer brainstormers, the time has come for a committee to look at the whole court system - a Y2K Court Committee.
I have some ideas, but will see if this generates any comments. Think inside the box, as well as outside the box. Everything from a simple revision of the civil rules to match up the commencement of a complaint to the simple filing (like the feds) to a review of judicial appointments versus elections and everything in between. Since there is something already going on in the criminal law setting, this should focus on the civil side of the house.
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