|amount of money," Drexel said. "We felt with this
reorganization we could provide the same level of service with 30 percent less
Drexel said the court is presently staffed with 24 of the 37 employees
it expects to have by the end of the year. The eight judges, who shared that salaries of
three for six months, also received their back pay last month.
court last faced a large backlog in 1992, it had 93 employees and used pro tem judges as
Normally, between 700 and 800 cases are pending in the hearing department, and another
60 are before review judges. About 200 cases currently are abated.
The court tries to dispose of 90 percent of its cases within a year, but about 30
percent now have been in the pipeline for longer than 12 months.
prosecutors were expected to reactivate abated matters and file new cases early this
To help expedite some of those proceedings, the bar's board of governors last month
revised court rules governing attorneys who default in disciplinary proceedings. The board
had taken a series of steps in February to expedite some matters, but had deferred acting
on the default matters.
Two new rules and amendments to two other rules will enable the State Bar Court to take
action against attorneys who default by eliminating the need for probation revocation
Attorneys who receive an actual suspension in a default matter must now file a motion
to terminate the actual suspension and agree to comply with probation conditions imposed
by the court.
Defense counsel for disciplined attorneys agreed to the change, subject to possible
amendment if needed.