I’ve been meaning to comment about this story for a couple of weeks, but I went through various phases of caring, not caring and then kind of caring again. While I still do, I’m going to post about it before my mood shifts again. The story is about federal judge Senter’s solicitation of ideas for streamlining and resolving the hundreds of remaining Katrina cases. It obviously is not possible that Senter would preside over hundreds of trials, but it also seems likely that a lot of the cases won’t settle out without help because of the wide disparity between what homeowners think they are owed and what insurance companies have so far been willing to pay.
I’m going to guess that some sort of process employing retired judges and others as special masters under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53 is the most likely direction this will go. Here is a pretty decent story on a federal court website about the use of special masters.