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Reports & Studies

Below is a list of a number of past published studies conducted by the Research Division. Some Center reports are not published or made publicly available due to restrictions in place from the source of the research request. Most research reports can be downloaded and in some instances, a hardcopy publication can be requested. See also Manuals, Monographs, & Guides.

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2003-2004 District Court Case-Weighting Study: Final Report to the Subcommittee on Judicial Statistics of the Committee on Judicial Resources of the Judicial Conference of the United States

Different types of cases impose different work demands on judges. Case weights are a measure of the average time consumed by cases of one type relative to other types. In 2003-2004, the Federal Judicial Center conducted a study to update existing weights for federal district courts using an event-based method. This method, which was new to the federal courts, combined information on the type and frequency of case events with information on the time judges require to complete these events. The Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources and its Subcommittee on Judicial Statistics, which requested the study, approved the new set of weights in June 2004.

Note: The report's appendices are only available online. They are not included in the printed publication.

January 1, 2005
A Comparative Evaluation of Stenographic and Audiotape Methods for United States District Court Reporting

A report on the results of research undertaken in response to section 401 of the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, which directs the Judicial Conference of the United States to "experiment with the different methods of recording court proceedings." The study evaluated the performance of audio recording systems placed in twelve courtrooms in ten circuits.

January 1, 1983
A Comparative Study of Jury Selection Systems: An Empirical Analysis of First-Class Versus Certified Mail for Service of Summons and Simultaneous Versus Separate Delivery of Summons and Qualification Questionnaire

An analysis of the benefits that might derive from district courts- altering their juror selection procedures. Two procedures are examined: (1) using regular first-class mail rather than certified mail for delivery of juror summonses and (2) delivering the juror qualification questionnaire and summons together rather than at separate times. Given that the conclusions of the study were mixed, the report recommends that the Jury Selection Act be amended to permit either or both procedures at the option of the individual district.

January 1, 1981
A Day in the Life: The Federal Judicial Center's 1988-1989 Bankruptcy Court Time Study

At the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System, during fiscal year 1989, the Center surveyed the caseloads of 272 bankruptcy judges (97% of those sitting at the time). The data collected in the survey formed the basis of seventeen case weights, which are the average amounts of time bankruptcy judges spent on the matters that came before them. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts uses the case weights to calculate weighted caseloads for each bankruptcy court, and the Judicial Conference uses this information as a major factor in assessing the need for bankruptcy judgeships.

Reprinted from 65 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 491 (1991).

January 1, 1991
A Further Look at the 1969-70 Federal District Court Time Study

This paper critiquing the 1969-70 time study was presented at an ORSA-TIMS-AIEE meeting, in Atlantic City, November 10, 1972.

January 1, 1972
A Process-Descriptive Study of the Drug Aftercare Program For Drug-Dependent Federal Offenders

The preliminary report of the Center's multiphase effort to document the effects of the Probation Division's aftercare program for drug-dependent federal offenders. The author reviews the operation of the program in a sample of ten probation districts. He describes the program's general approach; various characteristics of offenders in the program; services planned for and received by offenders; and adjustment experiences of offenders in aftercare, including resumed or continued drug use, new arrests and convictions, and technical violations.

January 1, 1984
A Qualitative Study of Issues Raised by the Discovery of Computer-Based Information in Civil Litigation, September 13, 2002

This research report was submitted to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules for its October 2002 meeting.

September 13, 2002
A Quarter-Century of Summary Judgment Practice in Six Federal District Courts

Report of a Federal Judicial Center study of summary judgment practice in six federal district courts during six time periods over twenty-five years (1975-2000), to determine whether summary judgment activity has increased over time and to what extent changes in summary judgment practice are due to the 1986 Supreme Court trilogy of summary judgment cases. From 4 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 861-907 (2007).

December 1, 2007
A Reevaluation of the Civil Appeals Management Plan

The report of the Center's second evaluation of the Second Circuit court of appeals' Civil Appeals Management Plan (CAMP), which in contrast to the first evaluation (see An Evaluation of the Civil Appeals Management Plan), reveals that CAMP was producing the benefits expected of it. In addition to reducing average disposition time, CAMP resulted in settlement or withdrawal of about 10% of the appeals eligible for the program, producing a reduction of approximately 8% in the total number of appeals. This evaluation is also known as CAMP-2.

January 1, 1983
A Study of the Five Demonstration Programs Established Under the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990: Report to the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management

Report on the programs adopted by districts designated as demonstration districts by the Civil Justice Reform Act. Includes list of issues to address in designing a mediation program.

January 1, 1997