Summary of Initiatives

The Unified Court System’s Comprehensive Civil Justice Program includes a
wide-ranging set of initiatives designed to enhance the quality and efficiency of New
York’s civil justice system. The initiatives are summarized below.

I.   Comprehensive Case Management

A new civil case management system that represents the culmination of the court
system’s evolution from merely assigning and processing cases to affirmatively
managing them. The new system builds upon the foundation of the Individual
Assignment System’s “one-judge, one-case” philosophy, and incorporates
Differentiated Case Management (DCM) procedures requiring tracking of each
case based on its complexity followed by rigorous judicial monitoring throughout
the life of the case to ensure compliance with key milestones.         Page 7

II.   Moving New York City Cases to Trial

Citywide court parts in one location to handle all trial-ready tort cases in which
the City of New York is a defendant. This centralized approach will promote the
more consistent treatment of these cases, which have been plagued by serious
delays in recent years.                                                                   Page 20

Measures to expedite the trial of cases transferred pursuant to CPLR
325(d) from Supreme Court to the New York City Civil Court.     Page 22

III. Specialized Treatment of Cases

Expansion of the Commercial Division to Westchester, Erie and Nassau counties,
and implementation of guidelines governing assignment of cases to the
Commercial Division in New York County.                                   Page 25

Implementation of matrimonial case reforms to create a more humane,
resolution-oriented approach to family dissolution. The reforms include
certification of law guardians, guardians ad litem and mental health professionals,
assisted resolution of custody and visitation issues, parental education programs,
expanded neutral evaluation programs and legislation to reduce delay in
matrimonial proceedings.                                                               Page 33

Establishment of specialized parts in New York County to handle guardianship
proceedings.                                                                                 Page 36

IV.  Simplified, Streamlined Procedures

Replacement of the existing patchwork of individual judges’ civil case rules
with a set of uniform rules within each judicial district. The uniform rules
will be developed with input from local bars and will address matters such as
procedures governing the filing of motions and other papers, obtaining
adjournments and oral argument.                                                   Page 38

A wide array of administrative and legislative measures designed to enhance
the fairness, efficiency and productivity of jury service in civil cases. The
administrative measures include: new administrative rules concerning note-taking
by jurors, providing jurors with written legal instructions and delaying designation
of alternate jurors until conclusion of the evidence; developing special pattern
instructions whenever a lawyer or judge sits on a jury; abolishing “jury stacking;”
eliminating excusal of jurors on consent without cause; and distributing juror
“notebooks” in complex cases. The legislative measures include amendment of the
CPLR to authorize: preliminary instructions, interim instructions and interim
summations in appropriate cases; and pre-trial conferences to facilitate advance
rulings on evidentiary issues.                                                          Page 39

Additional legislative proposals to streamline the processing of civil cases.
These proposals include amendment of the CPLR to: provide judges with greater
flexibility in addressing dilatory litigation; modify the current requirement that all
disclosure be stayed upon service of a summary judgment motion; allow for
greater regulation of deposition practice; and require broader expert witness
disclosure.                                                                                    Page 42

V.   Alternative Approaches to Resolving Civil Matters – ADR

Expansion of ADR programs to judicial districts throughout the State. The
expansion will seek input from judges and local bars and will replicate existing
successful mediation and neutral evaluation programs. Also, a new and innovative
case screening and referral process -- the multi-door courthouse -- will be developed.
                                                                                                     Page 45

VI.  Technological Advances

Implementation of electronic filing pilot programs around the State in which
attorneys may electronically transfer motion papers and other interlocutory
documents to the courthouse, saving the time and expense of transporting,
handling and storing paper documents.                                          Page 51

Development of a Universal Case Management System that integrates and
ultimately replaces the numerous existing automation systems used by courts
throughout the State to track their caseloads.                                 Page 52

Expansion of Courtroom 2000, an experimental program designed to expedite
trial presentations and make them easier for jurors to follow.          Page 53

Expansion of the court system’s on-line information system, which
provides subscribers with direct access to civil case data.               Page 55