Roles of Masters
A special master "is a surrogate of the Court and in that sense the service performed is an important public duty of high order in much the same way as is serving in the Judiciary." - Chief Justice Warren Burger Masters can play many different roles in litigation. Examples are:
- Settlement Masters are used to reach settlement agreements, often in large-scale litigation.
- Discovery Masters are used to resolve discovery in complex cases.
- Electronic Discovery Masters deal with electronically stored information (ESI) issues.
- Coordinating Masters work to coordinate the activities of counsel, typically when many parties are involved.
- Trial Masters may be assigned trial duties.
- Expert Advisors may be appointed to assist the courts.
- Technology Masters can assist in complex technological and scientific issues.
- Monitors are appointed by courts to implement court orders or settlement agreements.
- Class Action Masters may perform a variety of tasks specific to this context.
- Claims Administratiors administer the claims process after trial.
- Auditor Accountants can assist the court with complex financial data.
- Receivers may hold property until a dispute is resolved.
- Criminal Case Masters may assist with complex criminal case issues.
- Conference Judges may also assist with criminal cases.
- Ethics Masters may evaluate ethical behaviour of attorneys.
- Appellate Masters may assist state and federal courts with issues outside the court's normal appellate function.
- MDL/Class Action Masters are used in multidistrict litigation and class action suits to reduce the workload of the court