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Preliminary Findings Evaluation of the Use of Lawyers as Supplemental Judicial Resources

NCJ Number
Date Published
9 pages
A 2-year evaluation (August 1983-1985) of various types of judicial adjunct programs in six jurisdictions indicates that they can temporarily relieve court backlogs and achieve various other direct and indirect benefits.
The jurisdictions were Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Oreg.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Connecticut; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Seattle, Wash. Judicial adjunct programs encompass courts' myriad uses of attorneys to supplement judicial resources. The study found that the programs generally increased the number of court dispositions over previous years without the programs, that the time to disposition was reduced for cases handled by adjuncts, that bench-bar relations were improved, and that adjunct attorneys became more aware of judges' duties and problems. The principal preliminary recommendation is that courts use attorneys as supplemental judicial resources when full-time judicial resources are inadequate to meet demands, although not as a permanent alternative to the addition of full-time judgeships. Other recommendations are that adjunct programs carefully define objectives, maintain control over the selection of judicial adjuncts, not make cases assigned to adjuncts subject to the consent of the parties, and focus on actual and potential conflicts of interest in cases handled by adjuncts. 3 footnotes.