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Reports and 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.

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Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act on the Federal Courts: Preliminary Findings from Phase Two's Pre-CAFA Sample of Diversity Class Actions

The preliminary findings presented in this report suggest that, in diversity class actions, there is less to class allegations than one would expect. There was relatively little motions activity in the typical case, and the majority of cases not remanded to state court were voluntarily dismissed. Most plaintiffs did not move to certify a class. But all class actions in which a class was certified, whether for litigation or settlement purposes, ended with class settlements.

November 1, 2008
Report on Summary Judgment Practice Across Districts with Variations in Local Rules

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules asked the Federal Judicial Center to examine summary judgment practice across federal district courts as a means of assessing the potential impact of proposed amendments to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

August 13, 2008
Federal Judicial Center Exploratory Study of the Appellate Cost Bond Provisions of Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure

At its Fall 2007 meeting, the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee discussed the current circuit split over whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 7 authorizes the inclusion of attorney fees in a bond for costs on appeal. This item has been brought back before the Committee as it determines whether, in light of recent case law developments, to proceed with a proposed amendment approved by the Committee in 2003 which made clear that FRAP 7 bond "costs" do not include attorney fees. This report describes an exploratory study undertaken by the FJC of FRAP 7 bond activity in three federal district courts: the Southern District of New York, the Central District of California, and the Eastern District of Michigan. These districts are in circuits that permit attorney fees to be included in FRAP 7 cost bonds.

April 1, 2008
The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 on the Federal Courts: Fourth Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) (Pub. L. No. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (2005)) expanded the federal courts' diversity of citizenship jurisdiction over class action litigation. Congress's intent was, in part, to shift some class action litigation from the state courts to the federal courts. Passage of the Act sparked concerns about the impact of these additional class actions on the federal courts' rocedures and workload. In light of these concerns, the Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (Advisory Committee)1 asked the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) to study the impact of CAFA on the federal courts. This report marks the end of the first phase of the FJC study on the impact of CAFA on the number of class actions initiated in the federal courts. This report presents interim findings on class actions filings and removals in the federal courts from July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2007. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that CAFA has caused an increased number of class actions based on diversity of citizenship jurisdiction to be filed in the federal courts.

April 1, 2008
The Use of Courtrooms in U.S. District Courts: A Report to the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration & Case Management

At the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, the Federal Judicial Center conducted a study of the use of courtrooms in the U.S. district courts. The committee requested the study in response to a November 2005 congressional subcommittee request for an empirical study of the use of federal courtrooms. The study was conducted between early 2006 and spring 2008, with data collected in twenty-six district courts during the period January 15 - July 15, 2007. For a subsequent report on bankruptcy courtroom use, see The Use of Courtrooms in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts (2010).

January 1, 2008
Patent Claim Construction: A Survey of Federal District Court Judges

This report presents the results of a survey of federal district court judges regarding their use of patent litigation case management and claim construction procedures. When applicable, the report also compares these judges' reported practices with the recommendations contained in four recent sources. In general, surveyed judges' reported practices are consistent with the sources' recommendations, and judges who are relatively more experienced with patent litigation and claim construction tended to give similar answers to those given by judges less experienced in these areas.

January 1, 2008
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
FJC Research Brief, No. 2: Trends in Summary Judgment Practice: 1975-2000

For the full 33-page report see Trends in Summary Judgment Practice: 1975-2000 (2007).

December 1, 2007
Progress Report to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on the Impact of CAFA on the Federal Courts

The Federal Judicial Center has undertaken a long-term study of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) on the resources of the federal courts. This progress report on the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 was presented to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on November 8, 2007. The report presents an account of the progress of this long-term study as well as new information on class action activity in California and new data on consumer protection class actions and remand rates for removed cases.

November 8, 2007
Initial Report on Summary Judgment Practice Across Districts with Variations in Local Rules

The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules asked the Federal Judicial Center to examine summary judgment practice across federal district courts as a means of assessing the potential impact of the proposed amendments to Rule 56. This initial report examined summary judgment practice in the 276,120 civil cases terminated in the federal district courts in Fiscal Year 2006.

November 2, 2007

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