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Use and Cost of References in General Civil Cases - California

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Title: Use and Cost of References in General Civil Cases - California
País: USA
Idioma: English
Fuente: Fuente: Adminstrative Office of the Courts (CA)Fuente: Adminstrative Office of the Courts (CA)
Reseña: Reseña:This report is submitted pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 638(c),639(e), and 640.5. These sections required the Judicial Council to collect informationfrom the courts and report to the Legislature concerning: (1) the use of references,particularly discovery references; (2) the time spent by referees in fulfilling theirappointments; and (3) the fees charged to litigants for referees’ services.From July 2001 through December 2003, the superior courts provided the AdministrativeOffice of the Courts with copies of (1) orders concerning the appointment andcompensation of referees and (2) referees’ reports. The Administrative Office of theCourts also directly collected information from approximately 35 referees about the timethey spent and the fees they charged litigants for references.This report is submitted pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 638(c),639(e), and 640.5. These sections required the Judicial Council to collect informationfrom the courts and report to the Legislature concerning: (1) the use of references,particularly discovery references; (2) the time spent by referees in fulfilling theirappointments; and (3) the fees charged to litigants for referees’ services.From July 2001 through December 2003, the superior courts provided the AdministrativeOffice of the Courts with copies of (1) orders concerning the appointment andcompensation of referees and (2) referees’ reports. The Administrative Office of theCourts also directly collected information from approximately 35 referees about the timethey spent and the fees they charged litigants for references.The information obtained by the Administrative Office of the Courts shows that on a statewide basis: • Referees were appointed in 486 general civil cases during the study period. This translates to roughly 1 reference ordered per 1,000 unlimited civil filings duringthis period. • Approximately half (51 percent) of the references were ordered under Code ofCivil Procedure section 639 (nonconsensual); one-quarter (25 percent) of the references were ordered under section 638 (consensual); and the statutory basis for approximately one-quarter (24 percent) of the references could not be determined.   • Approximately three-quarters (76 percent) of the reference orders assigned the referee some responsibility for addressing discovery disputes. Slightly less thanhalf of the orders (48 percent) appointed the referee only for discovery purposes, and slightly less than one-third (29 percent) appointed the referee for both discovery and settlement purposes. • Overall, “nonconsensual” reference orders under Code of Civil Procedure section 639 included discovery issues more often than “consensual” reference orders under section 638 (90 percent versus 67 percent). Similarly, more section 639 orders than section 638 orders appointed the referee only for discovery (55 percent versus 42 percent) and for both discovery and settlement (35 percent versus25 percent).       • The number of hours spent by referees per case ranged from 1 hour to 300 hours; the median time spent was 16 hours. No statistically significant differences were found in the time spent by referees in references ordered under section 638 and under section 639 or in references ordered for different purposes.      •  The total fees charged to the litigants for the referee’s services ranged from $150  to approximately $92,000; the median fee charged was $5,625. The fees charged  did not appear to be related to the statutory basis for the appointment. However,  there was a statistically significant difference between the median fee for  references that were limited to discovery purposes ($3,903) and the median fee for  references ordered for both discovery and settlement purposes or for settlement  purposes only ($18,568).  


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