Six Sigma in the Judicial System

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums Implementation Six Sigma in the Judicial System

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Carnell 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Don Hutchcraft

    As I was thinking of my current situation with my son and his disability, it dawned on me how long it takes to get a court hearing. Upon further investigation I see that it is not only family court that is backlogged, but civil and criminal as well. These just scream for process improvement, especially when the people hav e the right to a speedy and fair trial. Any thoughts?



    Six Sigma is useful in any process where defects are a source of waste, arguably in every process. But there are other sources of waste. Lean is more generally applicable. Our often slow judicial process (as I understand it) is often a result of case load and delaying tactics by lawyers. The U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia is known as the “rocket docket” for the speed with which they handle cases. One way they do that is by denying delaying tactics unless they’re well-founded. I think the solution is making our courts accountable for the speedy and fair trials they’re supposed to do rather than anything we non-lawyers could propose.


    Mitchell Schaub

    It seems a valid point though, perhaps court clerks and judges could confer with Six Sigma and Lean methodologists to see if process improvements and priority analysis can lead to increased efficiency.


    Mike Carnell

    @hutch44 I understand this completely. In Texas there are targets for a Family Law lawyer to get certain % of cases done in a certain amount of time. I didn’t pay that close of attention but it looked like it may be a normal distribution. That puts the onus of the attorney to push and considering what they charge that seems appropriate.

    We did just go through the process to get my daughter disability and more importantly Medicaid. She ran a marathon and could bench press 200lbs. Get rear-ended in a car accident and cannot even sit. First she couldn’t work so as the system spent their full allotment of time, 18 months, to turn her down I made her house payments and car payments. We finally got a hearing in front of a Judge who scheduled her hearing for 3 hours. It took him 15 minutes to decide because she had serious surgeons diagnosing her. If I would not have been there she would have lost her house and car because of some inept bureaucratic system. Thank god for the judge. Not it takes them up to 6 months to process the results of a 15 minute hearing and begin her payments which will also allow us to get her on Medicaid. I will have made house and car payments for 2 years. Of course they give back pay but her money will not cover her house and car. More importantly it has delayed the very expensive surgery she needs for 2 years.

    Does our system need help? Actually the first step in the disability process is seeing how many people get disability without an attorney. I am sure with the data we can prove this is a system designed to not work unless you have an attorney. Is that really what we want for a system?

    First words out of an attorneys mouth is every case is different? Really? Six Sigma was designed to improve processes. So why does the 5th Amendment refer to due process? Because it is a process. The participants may differ but the process does not.

    Just my opinion

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