Client: A Mid-Sized California Superior Court
The Challenge: Through an assertive case management process, the court excelled at disposing of civil cases within established timeframes. Nonetheless, the Civil Division wrestled with:
an ineffective structure organized by case
type (e.g., limited versus unlimited civil cases) rather
than function (e.g., calendaring), despite unification of
the Superior and Municipal courts a decade earlier,
complaints from judges that files were
unclear workload standards, and
high employee turnover.
The court was looking for structures and systems
to reduce backlogs and measure performance. It also sought an
evaluation of appropriate staffing levels once organizational
improvements were made.
In the course of the analysis, we:
Interviewed Civil Division judges, managers,
supervisors, lead workers and staff.
Observed work processes. diagrammed workflow
and measured backlogs.
Benchmarked the court’s organizational
structure, work practices and performance against those of
other California courts with a similar ratio of civil
filings to judicial positions.
Evaluated the division’s financial
controls and use of the capabilities of the automated
A recommended functional organizational
structure and redistribution of work assignments.
Increased responsibilities and opportunities
for lead workers.
Elimination of unnecessary tasks.
Workload standards and mechanisms for
reporting about timeliness of work.
Improved financial accountability by reducing
the number of staff handling payments.
Increased training in use of the automated
A recommendation to reevaluate staffing needs
against workload standards in six months.
Consultants: Kate Harrison and Phyllis Smith
If you'd like to know how you can achieve these
types of results in your agency, please visit our website at
www.kateharrisonconsulting.com or call Kate
at (510) 524-2154. For more information about this project,
please click here to request the Executive Summary.
Go to Next Case Study