An assembly line for handling voluminous litigation (City of New York)

In 1994, overwhelmed by nearly 60,000 tort cases, the New York City Corporation Counsel’s Tort Division had its fingers in the dike with a “horizontal” case-management system. With this system, “each attorney performs a single task with regard to hundreds of cases, such as drafting pleadings, discovery compliance, or motion practice.” This description comes from the NYSBA Journal, Vol. 78, May 2006, at 37.

The article does not indicate how many lawyers practiced in the Tort Division or under this system, but it is not difficult to comment on the wisdom of the technique. To my way of thinking, this form of litigation Taylorism would crush morale and lead to ineffectiveness. As a desperate measure, perhaps it was forced on the Division.

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