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Old 07-21-2019, 07:43 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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There is no financial incentive for judges, court staff, lawyers, or paralegals to settle a case in a timely manner. We need to either create an incentive or de-incentive the current system.
Judges and court staff make a salary, so they are not incentivized by dragging matters out. Settling the matter of the day allows everyone to go home (for that day), so that's nice for them.

The criticism that lawyers are financially motivated to drag things out due to their hourly retainers is commonly stated, button my experience rarely plays out this way (although some lawyers are certainly exceptions to the rule).

There is so much demand for family lawyers, I (as a practicing family lawyer) do not need to drags things out. I turn away business as there is only so many hours in the day before I'd rather do other things like eat, sleep, spend time with my family, travel...etc.

It's also a difficult field to supervised associates in... one or two sure... but after a certain point you can't properly manage them. Unlike corporate law, it's not possible for 100 lawyers to work on a single file. Plus, given how easy it is to find clients, high quality associates do not generally need to stay in firms past a few years.

The lack of financial incentive to drag things out is separate from the immorality of course... but that should be obvious.

This isn't to say I haven't seen some lawyers do a disporportionate amount of work on a file...making me wonder if it's all about the money for them... but it's very unusual.

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My suggestions to the review are as follows:

1. Allow clients to sign affidavits digitally (saves people from having to drive across to the city to my office).

2. Allow photocopies to be submitted to the court (similar to above).

3. Hear Case Conferences prior to filing Applications/Answers. Saves money in drafting pleadings, and a Case Conference is about settlement. I wonder how many settlements have been made more difficult because reasonable people are told by lawyers (who are following best practices in an adversarial system) to put their most extreme position in their pleadings. Applications/Answers can be an unnecessary punch to the gut when reasonable heads might otherwise prevail.

4. Explore an Administrative Tribunal Model. Possibly have a MSW, Financial Expert and Lawyer sit and can issue interim Orders (disclosure, interim custody, interim access, interim support...etc) together. Keep the process informal and escalate to court only if necessary.

5. Digitization of Court Records. This should have been done over 10 years ago.
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