Home Law School News Drake law professor appointed to Iowa Task Force for Civil Justice Reform

Drake law professor appointed to Iowa Task Force for Civil Justice Reform

News Photo
Professor Luke Meier

Luke Meier, assistant professor of law at Drake University, recently was appointed by the Iowa Supreme Court to serve on the state’s Task Force for Civil Justice Reform.

Meier joined Drake Law School in 2007 after teaching at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law, where he was twice named as Professor of the Year. Meier has also served as an assistant attorney general in the Texas Attorney General’s Office and as an associate in the Vinson & Elkins law firm in Austin, Texas. His areas of expertise include the federal courts, American legal history, natural resources, property, and torts.

He is one of 14 members of the new task force, which has been directed by the Iowa Supreme Court to develop a plan for a multi-option civil justice system.

“It is an incredible honor, and responsibility, to be named to the task force,” said Meier. “I look forward to working on the important issues and problems identified by the Iowa Supreme Court.”

The task force’s plan will include proposals for new court processes and improvements in current processes that will foster prompt, affordable and high-quality resolution of non-domestic civil cases. Iowa’s current civil justice system, especially in cases involving smaller- to medium-sized claims for damages, is costly, unnecessarily complicated and slow, according to the Iowa Supreme Court.

These problems deter some litigants from pursuing valid claims and prompt others to settle claims of questionable merit. The hassles, handicaps and high cost of civil litigation impede access to justice.

“It is time,” stated the Iowa Supreme Court, “to redesign our civil procedures so they are straightforward, flexible, tailored for certain types of cases, expeditious and affordable for all litigants.”

To address these issues, the task force will:

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the present processes for resolving non-domestic civil cases.
  • Examine innovative civil litigation procedures and programs used in other jurisdictions or recommended by other civil justice reform groups, and from these procedures and programs identify those that hold the most promise for Iowa litigants and the public-at-large.
  • Develop a collection of proposals for new procedures and improvements to current procedures.

The task force is expected to present its findings and recommendations to the Iowa Supreme Court by June 30, 2011.