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For immediate release: May 23, 2007
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
609-292-9580

New Jersey Judiciary Receives National Recognition for Using Statistics to Improve Trial Court Performance

The Judges' Journal, a quarterly publication of the American Bar Association, lauded New Jersey's success in developing and implementing performance measures, including tracking "backlog," to assess the effectiveness of its court management techniques.

In its Winter 2007 edition, author John M. Greacen, an attorney and seasoned court administrator at both the state and federal level, points to backlog reduction as the key to New Jersey's success in improving court performance. He writes,

[O]ne can make the case that a court that minimizes its backlog will also, once its backlog is low, maximize its performance on the other measures. Once old cases are at a minimum number, a court will have a low median time to disposition. It will also have a clearance rate at or above 100 percent..Viewed from this perspective, backlog reduction is an 'elegant' measure-one that, if improved, will in turn lead to improvements in other measures.

Judge Philip S. Carchman, acting administrative director of the courts, said, "While our tracking of backlog as a measure of performance has been the subject of debate and spirited discussion among the bench and bar, Mr. Greacen concludes that we are resolving cases efficiently and effectively using statistical analysis to evaluate performance, identify problems and track progress in our trial courts. The article is a well-deserved affirmation of New Jersey's longstanding leadership in developing performance measures and improving court administration techniques. The successes explored in the article reflect the hard work and focus of New Jersey's trial bench; moreover, this effective use of taxpayer resources has helped the Judiciary provide litigants with prompt resolution of disputes."

The full text of the article can be found on the Judiciary Web site at njcourtsonline.com

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