An Appellate Court Dilemma and a Solution Through Subject Matter Organization

The recent litigation explosion presents a two-pronged dilemma for American appellate courts. If, on the one hand, the number of appellate judges is not expanded to keep abreast of growing case loads, there is a risk that courts will rely too heavily on professional staff, thereby watering down the decision-making process. If, on the other hand, the number of judges is proportionately increased with the growth in appellate litigation, the number of three-judge decisional units will also increase, thereby threatening predictability and uniformity in the law of the jurisdiction. This Article undertakes to explain that dilemma and to offer a solution for it.