Masters can provide courts, parties, and lawyers with essential services without tapping into court resources. Masters can act as mediators and settle civil and criminal cases away from the courthouse; they can monitor discovery and resolve time-consuming disputes; they can help with the growing burden on courts caused by electronically stored information (ESI) discovery problems; they can be assigned trial duties; they can testify as expert witnesses, especially in cases involving technical and specialized issues; they can help coordinate multi-party, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-district litigation (MDL) cases; they can administer settlement claims; and they can monitor compliance with a court order or settlement agreement.
Masters can markedly reduce the burden on a judge, the judge’s staff, and even the court’s administrative staff. Parties and lawyers recognize that in some cases the appointment of a master can save them substantial fees and costs, and can lead to a much quicker resolution of their disputes. Judges who use professional and experienced masters know how valuable they can be to case handling and resolution.