Section 10. Performance Standards

SUPREME COURT PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

Performance Standard 1.1 - Opportunity for Multi-Judge Review

The Supreme Court of Louisiana, in the exercise of its mandatory, discretionary, or original jurisdiction, should provide a reasonable opportunity for a multi-judge review of decisions made by lower tribunals.

Performance Standard 1.2 - Developing, Clarifying, and Unifying the Law

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should clarify harmonize, and develop the law, and should strive to maintain uniformity in the jurisprudence.

Performance Standard 1.3 - Extraordinary Functions

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should determine expeditiously those petitions and/or applications for which no other adequate or speedy remedy exists; i.e. mandamus, habeas corpus, quo warranto, and election proceedings, and should consider expeditiously those writ applications for which expedited consideration, or a stay, is requested.

Performance Standard 2.1 - Quality of the Judicial Process

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should ensure adequate consideration of each case and make decisions based on legally relevant factors, thereby affording every litigant the full benefit of the judicial process.

Performance Standard 2.2 - Clarity of Decisions

Decisions of the Supreme Court of Louisiana should be clear, and full opinions should address the dispositive issue(s), state the holding, and articulate the reasons for the decisions in each case.

Performance Standard 2.3 - Timeliness

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should resolve cases expeditiously.

Performance Standard 3.1 - Accessibility

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should be procedurally, economically, and physically accessible to the public and to attorneys.

Performance Standard 3.2 - Public Access to Decisions

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should facilitate public access to its decisions.

Performance Standard 3.3 - Public Education and Information

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should inform the public of its operations and activities.

Performance Standard 3.4 - Regulation of the Bench and Bar

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should ensure the highest professional conduct of both the bench and the bar.

Performance Standard 4.1 - Resources

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should seek and obtain sufficient resources from the legislative and executive branches to fulfill its responsibilities.

Performance Standard 4.2 - Case Management, Efficiency, and Productivity

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should manage its caseload effectively and use available resources efficiently and productively.

Performance Standard 4.3 - Assistance to Trial and Appellate Courts

The Supreme Court of Louisiana should develop methods for improving aspects of trial and appellate court performance that affect the judicial process.

Performance Standard 4.4 - Personnel Practices and Decisions

The Supreme Court of Louisiana uses fair employment practices.

LOUISIANA COURT OF APPEAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

Performance Standard 1.1 - Opportunity for Multi-Judge Review

Louisiana courts of appeal, exercising mandatory or discretionary jurisdiction, should provide a reasonable opportunity for a multi-judge review of decisions made by lower tribunals.

Performance Standard 1.2 - Developing, Clarifying, and Unifying the Law

Louisiana courts of appeal should develop, clarify, and unify the law.

Performance Standard 1.3 - Error Correction

Louisiana courts of appeal should provide review sufficient to address errors made by lower tribunals.

Performance Standard 1.4 - Extraordinary Functions of Appellate Court Systems

Louisiana courts of appeal should determine expeditiously those petitions and/or applications for which no other adequate or speedy remedy exists; i.e. mandamus, habeas corpus, quo warranto, and election proceedings, and should consider expeditiously those writ applications filed pursuant to the court's supervisory jurisdiction in which expedited consideration, or a stay, is requested.

Performance Standard 2.1 - Quality of the Judicial Process

Louisiana courts of appeal should ensure adequate consideration of each case and make decisions based on legally relevant factors, thereby affording every litigant the full benefit of the judicial process.

Performance Standard 2.2 - Clarity of Decisions

Louisiana court of appeal decisions should be clear and full opinions should address the dispositive issues, state the holding, and articulate the reasons for the decision in each case.

Performance Standard 2.3 - Designation of Decisions for Publication

Louisiana courts of appeal should publish those written decisions that develop, clarify, or unify the law.

Performance Standard 2.4 - Timeliness

Louisiana courts of appeal should resolve cases expeditiously.

Performance Standard 3.1 - Accessibility

Louisiana courts of appeal should be procedurally, economically, and physically accessible to the public and to attorneys.

Performance Standard 3.2 - Public Access to Decisions

Louisiana courts of appeal should facilitate public access to their decisions.

Performance Standard 3.3 - Public Education and Information

Louisiana courts of appeal should inform the public of their operations and activities.

Performance Standard 3.4 - Regulation of the Bench and Bar

Louisiana courts of appeal should ensure the highest professional conduct of both the bench and the bar.

Performance Standard 4.1 - Resources

Louisiana courts of appeal should seek and obtain sufficient resources from the legislative and executive branches to fulfill their responsibilities.

Performance Standard 4.2 - Case Management, Efficiency, and Productivity

Louisiana courts of appeal should manage their caseload effectively and use available resources efficiently and productively.

Performance Standard 4.3 - Assistance to Trial Courts

Louisiana courts of appeal should develop methods for improving aspects of trial court performance that affect the appellate judicial process.

Performance Standard 4.4 - Personnel Practices and Decisions

Louisiana courts of appeal use fair employment practices.

DISTRICT COURT STANDARDS [fn1]

[fn1] While many of these standards may be applicable to Juvenile and Family Courts, some of the standards will need to be modified in consideration of the special needs and functions of these specialized jurisdiction courts.

I. ACCESS TO JUSTICE

Standard 1.1 Public Proceedings

The court conducts openly its judicial proceedings that are public by law or custom.

Standard 1.2 Safety, Accessibility, and Convenience

The court encourages responsible parties to make court facilities safe, accessible and convenient.

Standard 1.3 Effective Participation

All who appear before the court are given reasonable opportunities to participate effectively without undue hardship or inconvenience.

Standard 1.4 Courtesy, Responsiveness, and Respect

Judges and other trial court personnel are courteous and responsive to the public and accord respect to all with whom they come into contact.

Standard 1.5 Affordable Costs of Access

The court encourages all responsible public bodies and public officers to make the costs of access to the trial court's proceedings and records - whether measured in terms of money, time, or the procedures that must be followed - reasonable, fair, and affordable.

II. EXPEDITION AND TIMELINESS

Standard 2.1 Case Processing

The trial court encourages timely case management and processing.

Standard 2.2 Required Reports and Requests for Information

The trial court promptly provides required reports and responds to requests for information.

Standard 2.3 Prompt Implementation of Law and Procedure

The trial court promptly implements changes in the law and procedure.

III. EQUALITY, FAIRNESS, AND INTEGRITY

Standard 3.1 Fair and Reliable Judicial Process

Trial court procedures faithfully adhere to laws, procedural rules, and established policies.

Standard 3.2 Juries

The jury venire is representative of the jurisdiction from which it is drawn.

Standard 3.3 Court Decisions and Actions

Trial courts give individual attention to cases, deciding them without undue disparity among like cases and upon legally relevant factors.

Standard 3.4 Clarity

Decisions of the trial court address clearly the issues presented to it and, where appropriate, specify how compliance can be achieved.

Standard 3.5 Responsibility for Enforcement

The trial court takes appropriate responsibility for the enforcement of its orders.

Standard 3.6 Production and Preservation of Records

Records of all relevant court decisions and actions are accurate and properly preserved.

IV. INDEPENDENCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Standard 4.1 Independence and Comity

The trial court maintains its constitutional independence and observes the principle of cooperation with other branches of government.

Standard 4.2 Accountability for Public Resources

The trial court responsibly seeks, uses, and accounts for its public resources.

Standard 4.3 Personnel Practices and Decisions

The trial court uses fair employment practices.

Standard 4.4 Public Education

The trial court informs the community of its structure, function, and programs.

Standard 4.5 Response to Change

The trial court recognizes new conditions or emergent events and adjusts its operations as necessary.

V. PUBLIC TRUST AND CONFIDENCE

Standard 5.1 Accessibility

The trial court and the justice it renders are perceived by the public as accessible.

Standard 5.2 Fair, Impartial, and Expeditious Court Functions

The trial court functions fairly, impartially, and expeditiously in order that the public has trust and confidence in the integrity of the decisions of the court.

Standard 5.3 Judicial Independence and Accountability

The trial court is perceived to be independent, cooperative with other components of government, and accountable.