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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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Certified Questions of State Law: An Examination of State and Territorial Authorizing Statutes

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.

June 3, 2020
Certification of Questions of State Law in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits (2010–2018)

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.

June 3, 2020
Opt-in: Potential Workload Implications for the Federal Judiciary

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.

February 6, 2020
Disability and the Federal Courts: A Study of Web Accessibility

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.

December 6, 2019
Patent Pilot Program: Status Update, December 2019

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

December 2, 2019
Report on the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot

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.

October 15, 2019
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
Patent Pilot Program: Status Update, December 2018

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

January 22, 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
Patent Pilot Program: Status Update, December 2017

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

December 29, 2017

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