December 19, 2019 Feature

A Revolution That Doesn’t Offend Anyone: The ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Use of Special Masters in Civil Litigation

By Merril Hirsh

Stories about special masters always seem to begin with “and then the judge threw up his [or her] hands and said, ‘I don’t have time for all this. Here’s what I’m going to do . . .’” At the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Midyear Meeting in January 2019, the House of Delegates did something to change that. The ABA approved Guidelines for the Appointment and Use of Special Masters in Federal and State Civil Litigation. The guidelines are the product of a remarkable consensus to assist courts and stakeholders in judicial proceedings with the latest thinking on how special masters can be a more useful tool for their judicial administration.1

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