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The Cost of Delayed Justice: Making Courts More Productive to Reduce Case Backlogs

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: June 09, 2022
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  1. Understanding the problem: Appreciate the scale of justice delays across jurisdictions and how these have been affected by the pandemic.
  2. Quantifying the problem: Understand the nuances between the methods of quantifying the human and financial impacts of delayed justice.
  3. Learning from others: Learn about solutions that courts have trialed, their effects, and considerations when implementing them.
  4. Considering your own environment: Know which solutions work in different scenarios, and which to consider in the context of their own professional environment.

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: June 9, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For both newly admitted & experienced attorneys


During the pandemic, courts have made heroic efforts to adapt so they can continue serving citizens. Despite this, COVID-19 has exacerbated delays to the point where the costs — both financial and human — are on the verge of becoming a national crisis. The problem that courts face, however, is that these costs are not well understood.
After participating in this program, learners will:
  1. Appreciate the scale of justice delays across jurisdictions and how these have been affected by the pandemic.
  2. Understand the nuances between the methods of quantifying the human and financial impacts of delayed justice.
  3. Learn about solutions that courts have trialed, their effects, and considerations when implementing them.
  4. Know which solutions work in different scenarios and which to consider in the context of their own professional environment.

This program was recorded on June 9th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Samuel A. Thumma

Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One

Sam has served on the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, since 2012, serving as Chief Judge for two years ending in 2019, and Vice Chief Judge for two years before that. Before being appointed to the Court of Appeals, Sam served as a Judge on the Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County, for nearly five years, presiding over criminal and juvenile matters (including nearly 250 trials) and serving as an elected member of the Judicial Executive Committee.
Nationally, Sam is a Uniform Law Commissioner, where he is a member of the Scope & Program Committee; chairs the Drafting Committee on Updating the Uniform Determination of Death Act and is a member of the International Legal Developments Committee and the Committee to Monitor Developments in Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Previously, he chaired the Drafting Committee for the Uniform Employee and Student Online Protection and Privacy Act (2016). He has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2003 and serves as an Adviser to the Restatement of the Law (Third) of Torts: Remedies. He Chairs the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division Appellate Judges Conference and is an officer on the Appellate Judges Education Institute, Inc., Board of Directors. Sam also serves as Judicial Division Liaison to the ABA Section of Litigation. By appointment of the National Center for State Courts, he serves on the Joint Technology Committee, a cooperative effort of the NCSC, the Conference of State Court Administrators, and the National Association for Court Management.
In Arizona, Sam chairs the Arizona Commission on Access to Justice; co-chairs the COVID-19 Continuity of Court Operations During a Health Emergency Workgroup (the Plan B Workgroup) and is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Juvenile Courts. He was named the 2021 Judge of the Year by the Arizona Supreme Court. Previously, Sam served as co-chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence (2012-2019) and chair of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee (2017-2019). Sam also chaired the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Practice and Procedure and Fee Arbitration Committees and served on the State Bar’s Civil Recommended Arizona Jury Instructions and Rules of Professional Conduct Committees.
Sam has taught remedies as an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University Colleges of Law and co-taught evidence to all new Arizona trial judges for many years. He is a frequent speaker, having presented at more than 400 seminars internationally, nationally and in Arizona. He is a frequent author, having published 13 law review articles and more than 50 other law-related articles. Before joining the bench, Sam was an AV peer review rated lawyer and a partner at Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, P.A., in Phoenix, and an associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. He served as a law clerk for Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Stanley G. Feldman and Judge David R. Hansen, United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Sam received a Master of Laws from Duke University School of Law in 2020; graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1988, where he was a Note & Comment Editor on the Iowa Law Review, and graduated from Iowa State University in 1984, where he was a Harry S. Truman Memorial Scholar.

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Deborah J. Nicastro

Presiding Judge
Garfield Heights Municipal Court

Judge Nicastro was elected in 1993 and took office as a Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge on January 2, 1994 and has served the Court for 27 years. Currently she serves as the Presiding and Administrative Judge of the Court.

-Judge of the Garfield Heights Municipal Court-1994 to present
-Private Attorney-Law Office of Deborah J. Nicastro, Criminal and Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Public Contracts 1984-1994
-Law Director and Prosecutor for the Village of Grafton, Lorain County, Ohio Associate Attorney-Wuliger, Fadel & Beyer, Associate Attorney, Criminal & Civil Litigation, Labor Law-Labor Representative, Appellate Practice 1979-1984

1996–1997, Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead Society of Professional Fellows
1976–1979, Case Western Reserve University, School of Law, Juris Doctor Degree
1972–1976, Cleveland State University, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science

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Karen Gorham

Superior Court Administrator
New Hampshire Judicial Branch

Karen Gorham is the Superior Court Administrator for the New Hampshire Judicial Branch. Previously, she was the Clerk of Court for the New Hampshire Superior Court, Assistant County Attorney for Hillsborough County, Assistant Attorney General for the New Hampshire Department of Justice and the Deputy District Attorney for Riverside County. She has a juris doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law.

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Mahesh Rengaswamy

Senior Director of Digital Courts Strategy
Thomson Reuters

Over his journey, Mahesh remains passionate about serving the customer with the best possible solutions and experience. Aligning product strategy to customer need, framing a winning go-to-market approach, and delivering a lasting customer success have been at the core. With 3-5 years in each focus area - business development, consulting services, solution architecture, strategy and business operations, he has become more well-rounded and every organization he has worked for has benefited. Creating engaged and lifelong customers is what makes Mahesh tick.

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Dr. Stephanie Domitrovich

Sixth Judicial District of Pennsylvania

Judge Stephanie Domitrovich, Ph.D., J.D., is a general jurisdiction state trial judge for Erie County, Pennsylvania. In addition to teaching for the University of Nevada, Reno, Justice Management Program, she is a faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and Gannon University. Judge Domitrovich has a Ph.D. in Judicial Studies, an MJS, major in Juvenile Justice, and an MJS, major in Trial Judges, from the University of Nevada, Reno; a J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in History (summa cum laude) from Carlow University. She is past chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges (NCSTJ) which is one of the conferences in the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association (ABA). She is past president of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges as well as the Northwest PA Chapter of the American Inn of Courts. She is currently the chair of the forensic science committee of the Judicial Division of the ABA. She serves as chair of the jurisprudence section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). She is chair of the children and family law committee of the NCSTJ. She serves on the executive committee of the French Creek Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She facilitates the truancy task force of Erie County, PA wherein over 80 community stakeholders work on projects to eliminate truancy. She is involved with many community boards and organizations. She has conducted numerous presentations on court experts and scientific evidence and she has participated in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to educate judges in the former Soviet Republic nations of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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