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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 descending
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
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
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
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
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 2018

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

January 22, 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
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
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
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

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