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Special Masters' Incidence and Activity: Report to the Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and Its Subcommittee on Special Masters

Thomas E. Willging, Laural L. Hooper, Marie Leary, D. Dean P. Miletich, Robert Timothy Reagan, John E. Shapard
August 9, 2000
In Print: Available for Distribution

The Special Masters' Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference asked the Center to examine how often judges appointed special masters and what functions they asked masters to perform. This report documents the incidence of recent special master consideration and appointment. The authors found that such activity was rare and occurred primarily in high-stakes cases that were especially complex. Party initiative, consent, or acquiescence provided the foundation for appointments and the basis for authorizing activities not contemplated by Rule 53. The subcommittee used the report along with other information in framing a proposed revision of Rule 53 that was published in August 2001.