Court Management

     Two things happened in San Francisco last week.
     Actually, there were more than two, but I just want to mention these two.
     One: A panel of three appeals court judges issued a 9-page ruling on whether a parking company was entitled to arbitrate its dispute over parking services at an Indian casino.
     Two: Court officials at the San Francisco Superior Court were predicting five-year delays for trials after closing 25 courtrooms and sending layoff notices to 40% of the court’s employees.
     Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the city council passed a law allowing bicyclists to sue people who harass them.
     In other words, what’s happening in California (and probably lots of other places) is that regular people can’t get help from overworked judges and clerks while a bunch of judges are spending their time reviewing cases that have already been tried and lawmakers are finding new ways to give trial courts more to do.
     Please sue your local politicians.
     This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes more is less. If a legislator has to wait five years for a trial, there might be some motivation to do something about the wait.
     Some possible causes of action: legislative malpractice, infliction of emotional distress, public nuisance. I know politicians are by definition a public nuisance but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable in court.
     Have fun coming up with silly motions – e.g. motion to strike defendant in the face, motion to enjoin talking to reporters, motion to do the locomotion. They don’t have to mean anything – you’re not getting a hearing anyway.
     And then refuse to settle.
     Meanwhile, on the court administrative side, put those lazy appeals court judges in their posh open courtrooms to work doing real trial judging work.
     Think about it: does it make more sense to delay a trial for five years or an appeal for five years?
     Stop marrying people.
     Not you personally. The state needs to stop sanctioning marriages. Heterosexuals must stand up for their right to be treated the same way as gay couples and people with pets. It’s only fair and it’s a matter of civil rights.
     Divorces are taking up way too much court time and this is the only way to solve the problem.
     Finally, I recommend a 40% cutback across the board on all laws. It doesn’t matter what they are. Just strike them from the books.
     We won’t even notice they’re gone.
     A GENETIC SOLUTION. I saw a rather incredible statistic in a magazine article the other day: a specific genetic factor accounts for the overwhelming majority of imprisoned criminals including 98.1% of death row inmates in the U.S.
     The factor was this: the Y chromosome.
     We need to stop producing men.
     China got this population control thing backwards.
     If we stop creating men, we’ll end prison overcrowding and, yes, free up trial courts.
     And women will have to make do with us guys that are already here.
     Heh, heh.
     A BUDGETARY SOLUTION. One of the reasons governments are in trouble is that they’re not allowed to act like businesses.
     Whoever heard of a business that wasn’t allowed to raise prices if it was losing money?
     Courts should be paid for their services too – and they should be paid, as is traditional, by losers.
     If you can award attorney fees to the winning side, why not award court fees to the institution that made justice possible?
     There’s no bias here – there’s always going to be a losing side, so the court gets to collect no matter what happens.
     You discourage litigation and you return to fiscal soundness.
     Justice should be good business.

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