Civil justice issues – family law issues such as divorce and child custody, consumer victimization issues raised by questionable trade practices, and tort issues raised by surprisingly high estimated rates of medical malpractice, questionable prescription drug practices, and other behaviors – are part of the fabric of daily life. Yet we lack systematic quantitative knowledge about the primary events in daily life that generate civil justice issues. This paper explores the desirability of, and issues related to, creating a national civil justice survey (NCJS) analogous to the National Crime Victimization Survey. The need for information about civil justice issues and the results of previous studies suggest that a major civil justice is warranted. Problems are prevalent enough to warrant systematic assessment of their presence and pursuit. The uses to which systematic assessment about these areas could be put are great, and studies reviewed in this article suggest that a NCJS is feasible and would yield highly meaningful results.

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Civil Law Commons