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November 15, 2017
Elizabeth C. Wiggins

Municipalities facing fiscal crisis often must make difficult choices, attempting to balance their financial obligations with obligations to deliver critical services, such as the provision of public safety, education, and health, as well as water, sewer, and transportation services. The primary objectives of Chapter 9—to provide a breathing spell to, and adjust the debts of, a distressed municipality—are familiar to bankruptcy professionals. The substance and process of Chapter 9, however, differ from other plan chapters under the Bankruptcy Code in meaningful ways.

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November 15, 2017
Elizabeth C. Wiggins

This guide on the use of distance participation (DP) technology to conduct bankruptcy hear­ings and trials provides an overview of general considerations, ranging from philo­sophical to practical, and then examines separately the use of the teleconferencing and videoconferencing. Each district, and indeed each judge, must decide whether to use DP technology, and if so, how to use it.

April 3, 2017
Jason A. Cantone

In 2016, at the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal–State Jurisdiction, a survey was sent to all chief federal district judges asking about cooperation with their state judge counterparts. The chief district judges were asked about topics and activities that could benefit from federal–state court cooperation, whether they collaborated with their state judge counterparts on the topics, and whether they were interested in additional cooperation. 

[This report was written and presented to the Committee in 2016, and approved for release in 2017.]

April 1, 2016
Margaret S. Williams, Rebecca N. Eyre, Joe S. Cecil

The Patent Pilot Program (PPP), a ten-year pilot program addressing the assignment of patent cases in certain U.S. district courts, was established on January 4, 2011, by Pub. L. No. 111-349. At the request of the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, the Federal Judicial Center has been studying the PPP since the program's inception.

March 15, 2016
Molly T. Johnson, Carol L. Krafka, Donna J. Stienstra

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March 5, 2016
Timothy T. Lau

This review of scientific literature regarding the reliability of present sense impressions and excited utterances as it pertains to the Federal Rules of Evidence was presented as a memorandum to the Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence.

February 12, 2016
Margaret S. Williams, Donna J. Stienstra, Marvin L. Astrada

At the request of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee, the Criminal Law Committee, and the Committee on Defender Service, the FJC surveyed federal district judges, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, federal defenders, Criminal Justice Act (CJA) district panel representative’s offices, and chief probation and pretrial services offices about harm or threat of harm to government cooperators. Respondents reported a minimum of 571 instances of harm to defendants/offenders and witnesses in the past three years. Cases often involved harm to both defendants/offenders and witnesses.

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October 25, 2015
Joe S. Cecil, George W. Cort, Ashley Mason Springer, Vashty Gobinpersad

This report summarizes a Center study of instances of individuals’ unredacted Social Security numbers appearing in documents filed in federal district and bankruptcy courts in November 2013 and available through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. The presence of Social Security numbers for approximately 75% of these individuals appears to violate rules adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States. 

 

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October 1, 2015
Emery G. Lee, Jason A. Cantone

A brief report on case-processing times, case outcomes, and motions practice in employment discrimination cases included in a pattern discovery pilot, compared with a nationwide random sample of similar cases. The report finds that case-processing times did not differ between the pilot and comparison cases, but that motions practice was greater in the comparison cases.

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January 1, 2014
Meghan A. Dunn

This report summarizes the results of a Center survey of district court judges to assess the frequency with which jurors used social media to communicate during trials and deliberations in the past two years, and to identify strategies for curbing this behavior. The survey was conducted at the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management. The survey also assessed the frequency with which attorneys use social media to conduct research on potential jurors during voir dire.

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