Bridgford Donation Helps Launch UCI’s Civil Justice Research Institute

The University of California, Irvine School of Law has launched a new national Civil Justice Research Institute to explore, through interdisciplinary, academically-based and independent research, how the civil justice system can be made more available to everyone seeking relief. UCI Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Chair of the Institute, and it will be governed by a prominent national Board of Advisors, chaired by Roman Silberfeld, Executive Board Member of Robins Kaplan LLP. UCI Law has received approximately $1 million in monetary support for the Institute from across the country, led by a $250,000 gift from Richard Bridgford, Founding Partner of Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian in Newport Beach.

UCI Law is uniquely situated to create a Civil Justice Research Institute that will lead a new discussion on access to courts. In the 2015 study by University of St. Thomas School of Law, the UCI Law faculty ranked No. 6 in the nation in scholarly impact. UC Irvine is a top research university with strong interdisciplinary programs and well-established scholars in law-related fields across campus, including Social Ecology, Social Sciences, Business, Physical Sciences and Psychology. Topics for research will include issues that influence the growing limits on access to our court system, including (among other topics) inadequate funding of state and federal courts, increased use of compulsory arbitration clauses, restrictions on class action lawsuits and limits on punitive damages.

“There is a critical need for interdisciplinary, academically-based research to lead the analysis and discussion on access to our civil justice system,” said Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. “We are grateful for the support of so many lawyers across the country to lead the UCI Law Civil Justice Research Institute to examine and uncover how we can better open the doors to our civil justice system to everyone.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to support Dean Chemerinsky in his efforts to identify ways to make the justice system more accessible to everyone,” said Richard Bridgford. “I am confident the results of the Institute’s research will lead to positive changes in our community and society as a whole.”

“Our democracy depends on an independent and functioning civil justice system,” said Roman Silberfeld, National Trial Chair of Robins Kaplan LLP. “Access to the courts for the redress of grievances is a fundamental right and that right has been eroded over time. This Institute will ensure that leaders, legislators and courts have the factual research and data they need to set policy for generations to come, all with the goal of preserving our justice system which has been and remains the model for the world.”

About UC Irvine School of Law

UCI Law is a visionary law school focused on training talented and passionate lawyers and driven by professional excellence, intellectual rigor, and a commitment to enrich our communities through public service. UCI Law is a collegial environment, and our faculty comprises accomplished, nationally ranked thought leaders from around the country with a broad range of expertise. In the 2015 study by University of St. Thomas School of Law, the UCI Law faculty ranked No. 6 in the nation in scholarly impact. More about the Law School is available at