CCL helped a Washington state law firm write and file its reply brief in the state supreme court, arguing that a trial court's dismissal of the action without explaining its reasoning should be reversed.

      The case, filed by Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore, asserts that, despite warnings by a succession of state chief justices that judicial funding has hurt the delivery of justice in the state, the legislature has failed to respond, largely pawning off trial court funding on counties ill-equipped to meet the demand. The result is unseemly delays. The case was filed on behalf of a series of plaintiffs awaiting their day in court.

      The constitutional argument is premised on two provisions of the Washington Constitution: the right to justice "without unnecessary delay" and the "inviolate" right to trial by jury. The trial court rendered a final judgment consisting of a single word: "Dismissed." 

       The Attorney General's office, defending the case, claims that the two provisions do not establish a right to adequate funding, argues that only the judiciary has standing to bring such a lawsuit, and says that there is no caselaw supporting the Plaintiffs. In reply, the Plaintiffs argued that adequate funding was a remedy to "unnecessary delay," and is only one of several options the Court could choose, noting that in a school funding case, it declared the right and then asked the legislature to respond. The reply also demonstrated why the two Declaration of Rights provisions are individual rights upon which Plaintiffs may sue. Finally, it rebutted the claim that no caselaw supports Plaintiffs. Among other cases, Plaintiffs cited a Ninth Circuit decision that held a three-and-a-half month suspension of jury trials across the nation due to budget shortfalls violated the federal jury right.

      The next step is for the state supreme court to decide whether to keep the case or send it to the court of appeals.