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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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Title Datesort ascending
Executive Overview Courtran II Data Communications Study

This study was conducted in order to develop a projection of the Federal Judicial Center Courtran II data communications requirements and to determine the most cost effective way to meet those requirements. The study looked forward from 1978 to 1983.

January 1, 1978
Assessing the Feasibility of Case Weighting as a Method of Determining Judicial Work Load


January 1, 1978
The Quality of Advocacy in the Federal Courts: A Report to the Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States to Consider Standards for Admission to Practice in the Federal Courts

A report on judges' evaluations of lawyers' performance in federal district courts and courts of appeals, undertaken in response to Chief Justice Burger's criticism of federal court advocacy. Based on surveys of trial and appellate judges and attorneys, as well as on ratings of videotaped trial performance, the study analyzes relationships between performance and lawyer characteristics (role in case, size of law office, and lawyer's age, experience, and education) and identifies areas of deficiency in trial and appellate skills.

January 1, 1978
Recommended Procedures for Handling Prisoner Civil Rights Cases in the Federal Courts

A report on the role of the federal courts in handling "conditions of confinement" complaints by both state and federal prisoners, with emphasis on state cases brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. Procedures for handling such cases from initial filing through the pretrial stages are presented.

January 1, 1977
Evaluation of the Probable Impact of Selected Proposals for Imposing Mandatory Minimum Sentences in the Federal Courts

A comparison of sentencing practices in fiscal 1976 with sentencing proposals offered in the second session of the 95th Congress. The authors conclude that few sentences imposed by federal judges would conflict with the legislative proposals, except those in the opiate, bank robbery, and aggravated assault offense categories.

January 1, 1977
Decisions Construing the Judicial Disqualification Statute

A brief analysis of the judicial disqualification statute, 28 U.S.C. Section 455, with an index and annotations of reported decisions construing the statute.

January 1, 1977
Case Management and Court Management in United States District Courts

An oft-cited analysis of the differences between court management procedures resulting in fast versus slow processing and those resulting in high versus low rates of disposition. This volume reports the overall results of the District Court Studies Project, a long-range effort by the Federal Judicial Center to assist the work of the United States district courts. The goal of the project is to help the courts achieve and reconcile the purpose stated in Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: "to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." Specifically, the project has been designed to determine what procedures are associated with the highest possible speed and productivity, consistent with he highest standards of justice. Alternative procedures are examined and recommended.

January 1, 1977
An Evaluation of Computer Assisted Legal Research Systems for Federal Court Applications

This report describes a Federal Judicial Center study that evaluated the use of computer-assisted legal research systems in federal courts in the 1970s.The report explained the systems that were compared and the methodology of the project, provides comparative data, and recommended adoption of the "full-text" system for use in federal courts.

January 1, 1977
Data Analysis at the Federal Judicial Center

This report to the Federal Judicial Center looks at problems related to the collection and analysis of data that were encountered during the Center's first 10 years of existence. These include the inability of available computer facilities to support research effectively and problems with the data or its documentation.

January 1, 1977
Observation and Study: Critique and Recommendations on Federal Procedures

An evaluation of study commitments under 18 U.S. C. Sections 4205(c) and 5010(e). The report concludes that the objective of observation and study--obtaining professional evaluations to support sentencing decisions--has not been met. The author proposes a new model for these studies.

January 1, 1977