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26 Third Branch 1 (1994)

handle is hein.journals/thirdbran26 and id is 1 raw text is: THE

B   R.A     iN[  C     I         imae' 1994
Chief Justice's 1993 Year-end Report Highlights Cost-saving Measures

As we close the books
on 1993 and anticipate
1994, those who work in
the Third Branch can
look back with satisfac-
tion on a good year's
work. The federal courts
again handled an enor-
mous volume of cases,
the Executive Branch re-
sponded to the
judiciary's call for im-
proved communications,
Congress helped the fed-
eral courts in several im-
portant respects, and the
Third Branch undertook

internal reforms that will
improve its ability to meet the chal-
lenges of the future. Opportunities
will abound for creative reform in
1994; the most important of them
will be driven by tight federal bud-
gets and diminished resources. An
era of austerity will require changes
in the way the judiciary does its in-
ternal business. It will also require
changes in the habits and expecta-
tions of professional users of the sys-
tem-lawyers and judges who be-
came accustomed to doing things a
certain way when the system was
under far less pressure.

(L to R) Prior to her swearing-in creimony, Justice Ruth Bader C
stands for a photo with Justice Sandra Day O'Cotor.

The Need to Allocate
Resources Rationally
Fiscal austerity reminds us that we
can no longer indulge all of those
habits and expectations, particularly
those that rest on the assumption
that the justice system is an unlim-
ited resource. In 1951, the great
Learned Hand admonished an audi-
ence of lawyers that Thou shall not
ration Justice. He was urging his lis-
teners to provide legal services to the
needy, but his aphorism has become
a handy weapon for those opposed

to any effort to allocate
judicial resources
based on their limited
availability. Hand's
aphorism has been
used indiscriminately
to challenge many re-
cent reforms in the fed-
eral courts, such as
limits on discovery,
changes in appellate
procedures, or propos-
als to achieve a rational
allocation of jurisdic-
tion among the federal
insburg      and state systems. Like
most aphorisms, how-
ever, Hand's words
can be used to prove too much. He
was speaking of justice-the end
product-not of the retention of ev-
ery procedure to which judges and
lawyers may have become accus-
Just as now we have a clearer
sense that federal budget resources
are finite, we need also to recognize
that the judicial machinery the bud-
get supports is a scarce commodity.
In the future, doing justice will re-
quire that the use of judicial re-
sources be regulated to assure that
they are available on the utilitarian
basis of the greatest good for the
greatest number, not simply on the
See Year-end Report on page 2

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