Text Size:

Civil Justice

Committee Chair: James H. Hulme, Arent Fox LLP and Elizabeth A. Scully, BakerHostetler LLP

Since 1982, the Civil Justice has overseen the Council for Court Excellence’s (CCE) projects related to civil law, as well as improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the D.C. courts. The Civil Justice Committee has had much success over the past 37 years. Notable past projects have included jury reform and modernization, probate reform, civil case delay reduction, increasing public access to electronic court records, and improving D.C.’s administrative adjudication system, among others. The projects have resulted in studies and reports recommending improvements to the District’s court and related systems. Yet, there remains much work to be done in this area.

Some of the projects include: 

Low-Income Civil Justice - CCE’s Civil Justice Committee will review D.C.’s civil courts and access to justice models to assess the impact they have on low-income, self-represented litigants, and make recommendations for improvement. These reviews will seek to fill gaps in research, thus complementing the already existing efforts of other organizations with long-standing experience in this arena. The civil courts to be reviewed may include Landlord/Tenant, Small Claims, and Family. Access to justice models may include civil Gideon, civil mediation, and pro se resource centers.

Advances in technology - Several advances in technology have changed the ways in which courts collect, track, and report information. Additionally, technology has changed the way courts do business, such as electronic filing and service of process. CCE will continue to advocate for advances in technology, such as remote public access systems, and increased transparency of court performance data.

Grand and Petit Jury Reform - Over the past few decades, significant societal changes, such as the advent of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, have had significant impacts on the concept of the jury. CCE will continue to advocate for improvements to the grand and petit jury systems in D.C. Superior Court.

Recent publications: 

Remote Public Access to Electronic Court Records: A Cross-Jurisdictional Review for the D.C. Courts (2017)

Administrative Justice in the District of Columbia: Recommendations to Improve D.C.'s Office of Administrative Hearings (2016)

Jury Service Revisited: Upgrades for the 21st Century (2015)


To file a discrimination complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights please visit for detailed instructions.


Copyright ©2011-2012 The Council for Court Excellence. All rights reserved.