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Research Reports

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This report examines state and territorial statutes that authorize certification of questions of state law. Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Mariana Islands all have certified question statutes, which specify from which courts they can accept questions. The report identifies the general trends and considerable variations between the statutes.

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This report evaluates the use of certified questions of state law between 2010 and 2018 in three U.S. circuit courts of appeal: the Ninth, Sixth, and Third Circuits. The data shows variation in the rate of certification and timing of certification events between the circuits.

In late 2017, the Committee on Defender Services (Committee) asked the Federal Judicial Center to generate a white paper on the potential effects on the federal courts and the defender services program of a determination that states have “opted in” to special expedited procedures created by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA).

After a brief discussion of some of the changes under “opt-in,” as Chapter 154’s procedures are called, this white paper discusses the potential impact of opt-in for the federal district and appellate courts with jurisdiction in Arizona and Texas, the two states that have applied for opt-in status thus far.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This report on accessibility developed from a yearlong study of various entities of the federal judiciary, including the judiciary’s electronic case filing and processing systems, homepages of federal judiciary websites, and published Judicial Conference and Administrative Office policies on disability and access.

This study was undertaken as part of the author’s Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the Federal Judicial Center through the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Status update provided to the Patent Pilot Program Subcommittee of the Judicial Conference’s Court Administration and Case Management Committee.

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This report presents findings from surveys of attorneys participating in the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot (MIDP). The survey asks participating attorneys to evaluate the effects of the MIDP initial disclosures on pilot cases closed in the District of Arizona and the Northern District of Illinois through March 2019.

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This report examines the use of plaintiff fact sheets and related case management tools in multidistrict litigation.

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Status update provided to the Patent Pilot Program Subcommittee of the Judicial Conference’s Court Administration and Case Management Committee.

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This report is a study of a discovery pilot testing pattern initial disclosures in adverse action employment cases. Compared to a sample of similar cases, pilot cases did not have shorter disposition times but did have fewer discovery motions.

For the 2015 evaluation, see Report on Pilot Project Regarding Initial Discovery Protocols for Employment Cases Alleging Adverse Action (October 2015). For the pilot materials, see Pilot Project Regarding Initial Discovery Protocols for Employment Cases Alleging Adverse Action (November 2011).

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Status update provided to the Patent Pilot Program Subcommittee of the Judicial Conference’s Court Administration and Case Management Committee.

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