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FEATURE ARTICLE

The problems with access to justice: another perspective

I recently read the paper by David E. Gruber in The Advocates Society Spring 2014 Journal called "Addressing the vanishing trial: a historical perspective". This paper reminds us of the changing legal environment in which we currently operate, and what are the source causes of the public's inability to access affordable legal solutions.

The paper reviews the history of civil procedure from the mid-19th century when cases went from pleadings right to trial. Most cases were tried and completed within a year. But in the last century, civil procedure has transformed with greater emphasis on procedural fairness and early stage dispute resolution. This has had the effect of adding significant time and cost to the resolutions of disputes and, in so doing, has made trials - the very end of a dispute - disappear or be a faint hope. Mr. Gruper argues that...


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