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About Clerks of Court

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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. 

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A brief overview of the United States federal court system and a discussion of the work performed by three categories of personnel: judicial (magistrate and bankruptcy judges); legal (law clerks and staff attorneys); and administrative (clerks of court and circuit executives). This paper was presented at the Seminar on the Management of the Assistant Personnel to Judges, Changzhou, China, November 22 - 26, 2004.

A brief overview of the United States federal court system and a discussion of the work performed by three categories of personnel: judicial (magistrate and bankruptcy judges); legal (law clerks and staff attorneys); and administrative (clerks of court and circuit executives). This paper was presented at the Seminar on the Management of the Assistant Personnel to Judges, Changzhou, China, November 22 - 26, 2004. A Mandarin Chinese translation of this paper is available here.

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A chronological study of the development of the clerk's office as an institution from its creation by Congress in 1789 to the present. The report uses legislative material and other primary sources to describe the changing nature of the clerks' duties over the course of American history. The report also describes and explains the transformation of the clerks from relatively autonomous office-holders who earned their livings from the fees that their offices could generate to salaried employees of a federal judicial bureaucracy whose work was, and is, subject to a significant amount of oversight by various agencies of the government. The study emphasizes the clerks' contributions to judicial administration on a national level, but it provides a framework within which others can reconstruct the role of clerks in individual courts.

In Print: Available for Distribution

A report prepared for the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal under the title: Administration of the Federal Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980: Final Report. The report is in three parts: (1) a description of the appellate courts' processes for handling conduct and disability matters; (2) a discussion of data on the effects of the Act that the authors collected from interviewing chief circuit judges, circuit executives, and clerks of court, reviewing complaints and orders, and examining statistical data from the AO; and (3) a summary of chief circuit judges' assessments of the value of the Act and suggestions for change. The report presents the views of chief judges on the impactor lack of impactof the 1980 Act on judicial independence.

Reprinted from 142 University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 25-207 (1994).

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