Law: Rent-a-Judge

Californians beat the backlog

With a battery of 206 judges, the Los Angeles County Superior Court system is one of the largest in the U.S. Nevertheless, since prosecutors and litigious Californians flood the court with more than 220,000 cases annually, and since criminal matters have priority, it takes more than four years for the average civil jury suit to reach trial. Now some lawyers are beating the queue. The solution: hiring a retired judge to hear the case.

What amounts to a rent-a-judge system was launched five years ago by two Los Angeles-area attorneys,...

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