Measuring the Duration of Judicial and Administrative Proceedings: A Comment

Professors Clark and Merryman propose a useful indirect measure of the duration of litigation whose primary virtue is its ease of computation from published court data. As the authors note, such a measure of duration may be useful to persons involved in judicial administration and to attorneys formulating strategy in litigation, and the legal community should find informative their illustration of the concept with Italian court data. Concluding on a pragmatic note, Professors Clark and Merryman appear to suggest that attorneys, clients, judges, court administrators, and social scientists must ultimately assess the utility of their concept. In making this assessment, we ought to consider several aspects of their proposal, including some underlying practical and .theoretical problems. Several of the appropriate caveats apply to all statistical research, while others are directed specifically to their concept of the duration of litigation ( D ).