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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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Title Datesort ascending
Estimates of Summary Judgment Activity in Fiscal Year 2006

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 report examined summary judgment activity in 179,969 cases terminated in the 78 federal district courts that had fully implemented the CM/ECF reporting system in Fiscal Year 2006.

June 15, 2007
Brady v. Maryland Material in the United States District Courts: Rules, Orders, and Policies

An update of Treatment of Brady v. Maryland Material in United States District and State Courts' Rules, Orders, and Policies, the October 2004 report to the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules as it and the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure consider proposed amendments to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

May 31, 2007
The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Third Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

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. The third interim report was delivered to the committee on April 16, 2007 for discussion at its April 19 meeting and reports on the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.

April 16, 2007
FJC Research Brief, No. 1: The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Third Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Third Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

April 1, 2007
Citing Unpublished Federal Appellate Opinions Issued Before 2007

Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 permits attorneys to cite to federal courts of appeals their unpublished opinions issued 2007 or later. Unpublished opinions issued before 2007 may be cited to the courts if permitted by the courts' local rules. This document is a summary table of the federal courts of appeals' local rules on citations to their unpublished opinions issued before 2007.

March 9, 2007
Trends in Summary Judgment Practice: 1975-2000

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. For a 2-page summary of this report see FJC Research Brief, No. 2: Trends in Summary Judgment Practice: 1975-2000.

January 1, 2007
The Hunt for Sealed Settlement Agreements

When a United States senator asked the federal judiciary to look into sealed settlement agreements, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee asked the Federal Judicial Center to undertake a research effort to discover how often settlement agreements are sealed in federal court and under what circumstances. The Center learned that the sealing of settlement agreements in federal court is rare, and typically the only part of the court record kept secret by the sealing of a settlement agreement is the amount of settlement. This article describes how the Center developed its research project to address the senator's concerns.

From 81 Chicago-Kent Law Review, 439-62 (2006).

For the published results of the research project, see Sealed Settlement Agreements in Federal District Courts (2004).

September 12, 2006
The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Second Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

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 second interim progress report was presented to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on September 7, 2006, and reports on the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.

September 7, 2006
Implementation of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980: A Report to the Chief Justice

The Judicial Conduct and Disability Act 1980 Act authorizes any person to file a complaint alleging that a federal judge has engaged in conduct "prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts." The late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, in 2004, responded to criticism from Congress and others about the way in which the Act had been implemented by appointing a committee led by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The committee reviewed several groups of complaint dispositions, including a large sample from 2001-03, and concluded that overall the judiciary is implementing the Act as Congress intended; it also found, however, an unacceptably high number of problematic dispositions among the small number of complaints it examined that had received news coverage or Congressional attention. In reviewing dispositions, the Committee developed and applied standards that take into account the value of protecting judicial independence in making decisions in a case.

The Federal Judicial Center is serving as a repository for the Committee's published report.

The report is also available at 239 Federal Rules Decisions 116.

September 1, 2006
Interim Progress Report on Class Action Fairness Act Study

This interim progress report on the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 was presented to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on May 22, 2006. The report examines class action filing trends from July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2005 in three federal district courts and includes data on the first four months after CAFA went into effect. Future reports will present the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.

May 22, 2006

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