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Research: Special Topics

Peace Palace

1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction: A Resource for Judges

This website provides resources to help federal judges adjudicate cases under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

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Covid-19 and the Federal Judiciary: Research Resources

This page contains a list of COVID-19 dashboards produced by the Federal Judicial Center’s Research Division. These materials address or track the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the federal courts and districts.

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Election Litigation

Our materials on election litigation include case studies of how federal judges have handled emergency cases and legal guides on selected voting rights statutes.

Federal and State Court Cooperation

Federal and State Court Cooperation

Federalism envisions state and federal courts operating independently, but their paths inevitably cross and may occasionally conflict. The courts essentially serve the same people, regularly engage with some of the same parties and lawyers, and often grapple with similar legal issues and practical problems. Enhanced cooperation can help state and federal courts more efficiently resolve scheduling conflicts, facilitate access to records, share limited resources, and resolve similar, pending claims.

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Illustrative Forms of Class-Action Notices

The Federal Judicial Center developed illustrative notices (securities and product liability, employment discrimination) of proposed class action certification and settlement. These notices are designed to illustrate how attorneys and judges might comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(2)(B), which says that class action notices "must concisely and clearly state in plain, easily understood language" specific information about the nature and terms of a class action and how it might affect potential class members’ rights.

Managing Capital Cases

Managing Capital Cases

Site is designed to assist judges assigned to capital cases, either federal death penalty prosecutions or capital habeas cases. The sites include resource guides describing practices and procedures used by courts and individual judges. 

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National Security Cases

National security cases often pose unusual and challenging case-management issues for the courts. Evidence or arguments may be classified; witnesses or the jury may require special security measures; attorneys’ contacts with their clients may be diminished; other challenges may present themselves.

Rules of practice and procedure

Rules of Practice and Procedure

The Federal Judicial Center offers many educational resources on the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure: Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence.

Scientific Evidence Resources

Science Resources

The purpose of this Special Topic Webpage is to aid judges in assessing various challenges to forensic science testimony by explaining the scientific basis for such testimony and the problems that may arise with such evidence.

Technology in Litigation graphic

Technology in Litigation

We are in an era of rapidly changing technology. More and more, judges are called upon to understand developments in areas such as surveillance technology, cloud computing, and cybercrime. Presented here are the Federal Judicial Center's growing resources on this important topic.

Third-Party Litigation Financing

Third-Party Litigation Financing

Third-party litigation financing (TPLF) refers to the practice of contracting as a litigant to obtain financial assistance from third-party funders in exchange for an interest in the potential recovery. There have been a number of recent developments in litigation financing, and this area continues to evolve as the use of third-party investors to finance lawsuits becomes more common. This webpage provides publications and other resources that may be helpful to judges when encountering TPLF-related issues.