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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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Research on Appeals of Attorney-Fee and Merits Decisions (Fed R Civ P 58(c)(2)) as Presented to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules in May 2006

In early 2006, the Federal Judicial Center examined the prevalence of the use of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58(c)(2), and the circumstances under which appeals of judgments on the merits and decisions regarding attorney fees can occur at the same time. Two resulting memoranda were presented to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules in May 2006.

  • Coinciding appeals of a judgment on the merits and a decision regarding attorney fees, March 7, 2006, 6 pages
  • Fed.R.Civ.P. 58(c)(2), January 30, 2006, 2 pages
May 1, 2006
Roundtable on the Use of Technology to Facilitate Appearances in Bankruptcy Proceedings

In August 2005, the Federal Judicial Center, at the request of and with assistance from the Subcommittee on Automation of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System, held a program at which bankruptcy judges discussed the use of distance participation technology to conduct bankruptcy proceedings. At the request of the Committee, the Center prepared this report to summarize the discussions at that program.

A subsequent guide was published: Remote Participation in Bankruptcy Court Proceedings (2017).

January 1, 2006
Report of a Survey of Videoconferencing in the Courts of Appeals

This report describes the ways in which videoconferencing is used in the courts of appeals. Appellate judges with varying degrees of experience with videoconferencing identify advantages and disadvantages of using videoconferencing for oral arguments and other court business, describe the extent to which videoconferencing altered the dynamic between judge and attorney during oral arguments, and report any problems they had encountered in using the technology.

January 1, 2006
Attorney Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation: What Difference Does It Make?

This article presents a post-Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) discussion and analysis of data presented previously in An Empirical Examination of Attorneys' Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation (FJC 2005). Data originated from a national random survey of 728 attorneys who represented plaintiffs and defendants in 621 closed class action cases. New discussion centers on the assumptions underlying CAFA about differences in federal and state court treatment of class actions. New data are presented on the types of cases (nature of suit) and the state of filing for survey cases that were originally filed in state court. From 81 Notre Dame Law Review 591 (January 2006).

January 1, 2006
Citing Unpublished Opinions in Federal Appeals

At its June 2004 meeting, the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure asked the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee to ask the Federal Judicial Center to conduct empirical research that would help the Standing Committee in its consideration of a proposed new Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1, which would permit attorneys and courts in federal appeals in all circuits to cite the court's unpublished opinions. The Center's research effort consisted of three components: (1) a survey of judges, (2) a survey of attorneys, and (3) a survey of case files. The rule, as amended and approved by the Judicial Conference in September 2005 and approved by the Supreme Court in April 2006, applies only to opinions issued in 2007 or later. The rule became effective December 1, 2006.

December 21, 2005
An Empirical Examination of Attorneys' Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation

This article presents attorney responses to a national random survey of 728 attorneys who represented plaintiffs and defendants in 621 recently closed class action cases. Those cases had been filed in or removed to federal courts, and the article focuses on attorneys' reasons for choosing a state or federal forum. The article also tracks the differences in rulings in state and federal courts on class certification, motions to dismiss, settlement review, and attorney fee awards in a subset of the 621 cases.

Note that this article draws on the same data examined in Attorney Reports on the Impact of Amchem and Ortiz on Choice of a Federal or State Forum in Class Action Litigation (2004).

A post-Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) article on the same data Attorney Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation: What Difference Does it Make? (2006) is also available.

December 17, 2005
Citations to Unpublished Opinions in the Federal Courts of Appeals: Preliminary Report

The Appellate Rules Advisory Committee has proposed a new Rule 32.1, which would permit attorneys and courts in federal appeals in all circuits to cite unpublished opinions. At its June 2004 meeting, the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure asked the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee to ask the Federal Judicial Center to conduct empirical research that would yield results helpful to the Standing Committee's consideration of the proposed rule.

The Center's research effort consists of three components: (1) a survey of judges, (2) a survey of attorneys, and (3) a survey of case files. This preliminary report, which includes analyses of all responses in the survey of judges, almost all of the responses in the survey of attorneys, and a majority of cases in the survey of case files (9 out of 13 circuits), was presented to the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee on April 18, 2005. The authors expect to have all data analyzed and a complete report for the Standing Committee on Rules meeting on June 15-16, 2005.

April 14, 2005
Report of a Survey of United States District Judges' Experiences and Views Concerning Rule 11, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

A report of the results of a survey completed by 278 of 400 (70%) federal district judges in the winter of 2004-05. The Center conducted the study at the request of the Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. A questionnaire elicited the judges' experiences and opinions about the merits of past and current versions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and about a legislative proposal to modify Rule 11. The judges expressed a strong preference for Rule 11 in its current form.

February 24, 2005
2003-2004 District Court Case-Weighting Study: Final Report to the Subcommittee on Judicial Statistics of the Committee on Judicial Resources of the Judicial Conference of the United States

Different types of cases impose different work demands on judges. Case weights are a measure of the average time consumed by cases of one type relative to other types. In 2003-2004, the Federal Judicial Center conducted a study to update existing weights for federal district courts using an event-based method. This method, which was new to the federal courts, combined information on the type and frequency of case events with information on the time judges require to complete these events. The Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources and its Subcommittee on Judicial Statistics, which requested the study, approved the new set of weights in June 2004.

Note: The report's appendices are only available online. They are not included in the printed publication.

January 1, 2005
Analysis of Briefing Requirements in the United States Courts of Appeals

The Federal Judicial Center prepared this report to assist the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure to evaluate reported problems with and potential amendments to Rules 28 and 32 on the content and cover of briefs. The report presents information received from the thirteen courts of appeals on every local rule or practice that imposes upon briefs and brief covers requirements that are not in the national rules. The report also describes the history behind the adoption of the local requirements, the extent to which courts enforce them, as well as the courts' plans to adopt more briefing requirements, problems courts have experienced under the current rules, and whether Rule 28 should be amended to prohibit further variations or to include additional or different briefing requirements.

November 30, 2004

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