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Caseloads & Case Weights
An analysis of the appropriateness of using 400 weighted filings per judge as the touchstone for recommending the creation of new district judgeships. Through statistical comparisons of various single-year filing cutoff points, the authors examine how the district courts have handled their pending caseloads. The report concludes that, although important, the single-year filing levels are imperfect predictors of caseload behavior and that other variables need to be considered.
An investigation of problems encountered by the Ninth Circuit in its Appeals Without Briefs (AWB) Program, which was designed to expedite the disposition of civil appeals presenting comparatively straightforward issues. The author recommends solutions to the problems described by judges and counsel participating in the program and concludes that a revised AWB program could be successful.
This study, done at the request of the Bankruptcy Division of the Administrative Office, is an analysis of the caseload burdens of bankruptcy judges, using a refinement of the time study method developed in the 1979 district court time study. The report describes in detail what was then a new methodology and explains how to use case weights to produce weighted caseload measurements. (This methodology was further refined to produce A Day in the Life: The Federal Judicial Center's 1988-1989 Bankruptcy Court Time Study.)
An examination of the relative judicial and administrative burdens produced by various case types in the D.C. Circuit. The study confirms that the burden arising from the quantity of material presented to the court for consideration is greater in administrative agency cases than in other case types.
A description and analysis of the efforts of two courts of appeals to manage their case flow from the filing of the notice of appeal through the time the case is prepared for submission to the court. The author examined the procedures implemented in the Second and Eighth Circuits to control and reduce the time required to prepare cases for submission on appeal.
A revision in the system of case weights used to assess the caseload burden in district courts. Based on time records kept by ninety-nine federal district judges for a twelve-week period in early 1979, the report describes the survey method in detail, summarizes results and applications, and presents data on the nature and distribution of the federal courts' workload.
An attempt to develop estimates of relative workload in the courts of appeals without detailed timekeeping by judges. Judges estimated the relative workload associated with various appeal types, and their estimates were used to calculate case weights. The report concluded that the weighted caseloads produced by this method were not useful measures of appellate workload, but cautioned that the method could not be adequately assessed given the inconsistencies in the appellate court statistical reporting systems in place in the mid-1970s.
Please note: There is a typographical error in this document. The number VI was accidentally skipped when putting together the sequence of tables, but no text or table is missing from the report.
Also note: This report is reprinted in Part Two of Managing Appeals in Federal Courts (1988).