Judge Highberger joins Los Angeles County's complex litigation court

Los Angeles County's Central Civil West Courthouse (affectionately known as "CCW" to practitioners in the region) handles the majority of Los Angeles County's complex litigation matter.  As noted on the Los Angeles Superior Court website, "The civil courts hear complex litigation cases assigned from throughout the county. Original case filings are not accepted at this location."  However, the Judicial Council provides a little more information about California's Complex Civil Litigation Program:

The Complex Civil Litigation Program began as a pilot in 2000 in six California trial courts: the Superior Courts of Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, and Santa Clara Counties. Alameda County has two judges dedicated to the program; Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Santa Clara Counties each have one; Los Angeles County has seven; and Orange County has five. The program was designed to give judges training and resources to help them manage complex civil cases efficiently and effectively. Participating courts have used their grant funds to hire additional research attorneys and court staff and to improve technology, among other uses. Several courts have held bench-bar symposiums to educate users about areas of the pilot program such as discovery, case management, alternative dispute resolution, substantive legal areas, and use of technology. Program judges meet twice yearly to exchange information and participate in continuing education.

(Fact Sheet: Complex Civil Litigation Program, Judicial Council of California, January 2007, at pp. 2-3.)

This month, Judge William Highberger joins Judges Victoria Chaney, Emilie Elias, Peter Lichtman, Carl West, Anthonty Mohr, and Presiding Judge Carolyn Kuhl on the "complex" case panel.  Accepting assignment to Department 307 (replacing the departing Judge Mortimer), Judge Highberger will have the opportunity to carry on CCW's good track record of making the complex manageable for courts, counsel and litigants.  As the majority of my own firm's cases are assigned to various courts participating in the Complex Civil Litigation Program, I wish Judge Highberger as much success as possible in a program that unquestionably benefits California's judicial system.  (See, Hanaford-Agor, Paula L., Complex Litigation: Key Findings From California Pilot Program (Winter 2004) Civil Action 3, no. 1 (pub. National Center For State Courts), at pp. 1-3 (summarizing a 3-year study of the California Pilot Program).)