Uncivil Procedure: How State Court Proceedings Perpetuate Inequality

Since September 2016, Hannah Lieberman has been Associate Dean for Clinical and Experiential Programs at the David A. Clarke School of Law of the District of Columbia. At the time she presented this Essay, she was the Executive Director of Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP), a private, non-profit law firm in Washington, D.C. that provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of the District of Columbia. Prior to joining NLSP, she served as the Director of Advocacy in legal services programs in Arizona and Maryland and was a litigation Partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Shaw Pittman Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman). Ms. Lieberman was a Member of the Civil Justice Improvements Committee established by the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) to make recommendations regarding civil case processing in state courts, and she led a subcommittee that focused on challenges in high-volume dockets. Her research and analysis substantially shaped the Committee’s recommendations regarding high-volume courts. She drafted the “Report of the High Volume Case Working Group to the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements Committee, Problems and Recommendations for High-Volume Dockets,” from which her presentation at the American Constitution Society’s Law and Inequality Conference at Yale Law School, October 2015, and this Essay, were heavily drawn (with permission of the CCJ Committee Project Manager from the National Center of State Courts). See Hannah E. M. Lieberman et al., Appendix I: Problems and Recommendations for High-Volume Dockets, Nat’l Ctr. for St. Cts. (2016), http:// www.ncsc.org/~/media/Microsites/Files/Civil-Justice/NCSC-CJI-Appendices-… [http://perma.cc/A99F-3UV7]; see also CCJ Civil Justice Improvements Comm., Call to Action; Achieving Civil Justice for All, Nat’l Ctr. for St. Cts. et al. (2016), http://www.ncsc.org/~/media/Microsites/Files/Civil-Justice/NCSC-CJI-Repo… [http://perma.cc/7DU3-A8MN].