By: Richard H. Glucksman and David A. Napper
November 12, 2014
Riverside County Superior Court expects to consolidate complex civil litigation into one courtroom by early 2015. Many other counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, Sacramento, Alameda, and Santa Clara already have designated complex civil litigation courtrooms. Riverside Court Superior Court currently distributes the complex cases among 10 civil judges, most of which are handled by seven judges at the Main St. Riverside courthouse location.
Riverside Judge Sharon Waters stated that “[i]t’s been something that I personally have felt has been long overdue” and that “[t]he idea is that put it with one judge and let him or her develop the expertise.” Judge Waters believes “[t]he potential value of establishing a complex litigation courtroom [is that] it allows the judge to focus on the cases full time.”1
As of October 2014, Riverside had about 450 to 500 pending cases that have been designated as complex with over fifty percent (50%) of them being construction defect matters. A complex court should increase efficiency in the Riverside County Complex cases and reduce costs for litigants as complex courtrooms have the ability to streamline motion practice and resolve discovery disputes. The sole Judge who will preside over the complex cases has not yet been named.
1Jolly, Vik. “Riverside to Shift Complex Civil Cases to 1 Courtroom.” Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 13, 2014)