Do we have a great court system in America? Yes. Could we make it better? Yes.
Society changes; it is challenging for institutions to meet changes while preserving their strength. Tradition and dignity are strengths of the court system. Stuffiness and impracticality are not.
Sometimes I worry that people turn to mediation and arbitration because the courts are not meeting people’s changing needs. Recently, I saw this sign on the outside of a Virginia Court. It certainly does not invite the litigant into the building. It might be downright scary for some people. And what if they did not drive to the courthouse? What should they do with their phones or tablets?
Great minds are undoubtedly at work on this issue – the legal profession has grown richer throughout history. But let’s catch up, and make the courts accessible – unless we don’t want people to use them.