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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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Plaintiff Fact Sheets in Multidistrict Litigation

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

March 11, 2019
Report on Pilot Project Regarding Initial Discovery Protocols for Employment Cases Alleging Adverse Action

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).

October 19, 2018
Managing Related Proposed Class Actions in Multidistrict Litigation

This pocket guide is designed for transferee judges managing MDL proceedings that involve multiple, related class actions.

The guide assists transferee judges from the very beginning of MDL proceedings, before the judges determine whether the main focus of the litigation will be on class-related issues. Even if no class is ultimately certified, this guide can help transferee judges organize the litigation and set it on a smooth course. Topics addressed include categorization of claims and defenses, organization of counsel, the sequencing of motions practice, and settlement.

May 31, 2018
Managing Discovery of Electronic Information, Third Edition

This third edition of the pocket guide on managing the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) covers the December 1, 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and reflects the rise of new sources of ESI, particularly social media, and updates judges on how ESI may be searched. It also suggests case-management techniques that judges might use in smaller civil actions in which the costs of ESI discovery could hamper resolution on the merits.

September 20, 2017
Enhancing Cooperation Through State–Federal Judicial Councils

This guide is intended to help state and federal judges organize and maintain an active state–federal judicial council. The guide identifies different topics that can be considered and activities that can be coordinated through a council.

July 10, 2017
Securities Litigation

This pocket guide is designed to offer judges an introduction to the law and practice of securities litigation. It provides an overview of the types of legal and practical issues judges may confront in litigation arising under the securities laws, and, where possible, offers suggestions. This guide also identifies the areas of securities law most prone to circuit splits or frequent change, so that judges know where to be particularly vigilant about looking at up-to-date case law and legislation.

June 28, 2017
Trade Secret Seizure Best Practices Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), Pub. L. No. 114-153, became law on May 11, 2016. It amends 18 U.S.C. § 1836 to create a private right of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets “for which any act occurs on or after the date of the enactment” and where the trade secrets “[are] related to [] product[s] or service[s] used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.”  The DTSA directs that, not later than two years after the date of enactment of the Act, the Federal Judicial Center, "using existing resources, shall develop recommended best practices for (1) the seizure of information and media storing the information; and (2) the securing of the information and media once seized."

These trade secret seizure best practices were developed in response to the DTSA’s mandate and are based on the limited initial experience in the federal courts with 18 U.S.C. § 1836(b)(2). They are being circulated prior to the due date of May 11, 2018, so that courts can benefit from having early guidance on the subject matter. The Center will update these best practices as needed.

June 28, 2017
Report on Federal–State Court Cooperation: A Survey of Federal Chief District Judges

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 3, 2017
Vertical Consolidation of District Court and Bankruptcy Court Clerks' Offices

A report to the Cost-Containment Subcommittee of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee on six districts with a currently consolidated district court and bankruptcy court clerk's office and three districts that at one time consolidated their district court and bankruptcy court clerks' offices but subsequently deconsolidated the offices. Based on surveys and interviews, the report presents profiles of each study district and identifies factors common to districts in which consolidation was, and was not, sustained. 

April 3, 2017
Patent Pilot Program: Five-Year Report

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. This midpoint report presents key findings from the first five years of the program, gathering data for all patent cases filed on or after the individual PPP start date designated by each of the 13 current pilot courts through January 5, 2016. In that time, just over 12,000 patent cases were filed in the participating pilot districts.

April 1, 2016