EP2: How can Legal Design benefit judges?

Publié le 18 . 11 . 2020
Dernière mise à jour 25 . 11 . 2020

As part of our new series “What do judges think of Legal Design?”, we are focusing in this article on how Legal Design can benefit judges. Back in 2016, 47% of civil cases handled by American state courts were contract disputes. Since then, the number of litigation cases has not stopped increasing; therefore, judges are supposed to devote more and more of their time to a steady stream of new cases.   

  

Even before Covid-19 times, most judges and courts were already stacked with cases and some even officially declared that they simply could not read more than 20 pages of written submissions. But more often than not, written submissions reach up to 80 or 100 pages.  

  

A study released in 2019 states that French judges usually work more than 10 hours a day, most of them declaring working on the weekends. Less than 2% of the judges who participated in the study have declared not working on weekends. This work overload has very serious consequences on their quality of life, their mental health, and therefore on the quality of their work: due to exhaustion and the need to quickly deliver their work.   

  

During the pandemic first lockdown, all jurisdictions closed in France, except for those in charge of essential litigation. Thus, the confinement added a new workload on already overworked judges. This is true for most jurisdictions. For example, in the state of Virginia, it is stated that over 670,000 cases were postponed to a later date due to the pandemic.  In France, Judges are forced to prioritize cases:  cases relating to domestic violence, the placement of endangered children or prisoners applying for release have been treated during the confinement, while all other cases have been put on hold.  

  

At  Amurabi, we’ve seen that designing written submissions is a key advantage in terms of litigation strategy. With Legal Design, our approach consists in finding the best way to make written submissions easier and faster to understand, in order to give judges the best conditions to work in more efficient and less time-consuming manner. 

 

Leveraging design in written submissions enables us to  

– Create an overall layout which facilitates reading and understanding, giving judges “mental oxygen” 

– Ease navigation between key arguments and the corresponding pieces of evidence

– Visualize timelines, which can be critical for proceedings technicalities 

– Visualize complex facts or concepts 

– Highlighting the weaknesses of the reasonning of the other party.

What do you think? Please share your views with us! 


Click here to see some examples of our own legal design examples in litigation, and in contracts


Click here to access the third episode: ‘’Has any legally-designed contract been litigated?’’.


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