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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76189 Find in a Library
Title: Federal District Court Time Study, 1979
Corporate Author: Federal Judicial Ctr
United States of America
Project Director: S Flanders
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 113
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Judicial Ctr
Washington, DC 20002
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report describes a survey of 99 Federal district judges conducted by the Federal Judicial Center in 1979 for the purpose of determining appropriate revision of the system of case weights.
Abstract: The survey was intended to be an interim solution to the problem of revising case weights; it responded to the fact that case weights have remained unchanged for 10 years even though massive changes have also occurred in the nature and distribution of the Federal courts' workload. The survey was designed to produce uniform national weights for the many types of Federal cases while a permanent system is being developed. The effort received 100 percent participation from the judges contacted. Data indicate that antitrust cases present exceptional burdens on Federal courts. In contrast, social security cases have a low case weight, indicative of the fact that the scope of review by the Federal district courts is limited in these cases, and much of the review can be delegated to magistrates. With regard to criminal cases, bank robbery was the single criminal case type that occupied most of the judges' time. The primary purpose of the survey was to calculate a weighted filing figure for each district court. These survey results make more of a difference than past surveys. For example, the District of Columbia had 258 filings per judgeship for fiscal 1979. When the 1979 case weights are applied, this figure is dramatically increased to 368 filings per judgeship. In contrast, when 1969 case weights are applied to the same information, the result is only 287 weighted filings per judgeship. Overall, the vast differences in results justify the effort and expense of the survey. Supplemental tables, a methodological supplement, survey materials, and a list of surveyed judges are appended. Footnotes and tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Court case flow management; District Courts; Federal courts; Federal Judicial Center; Time series; Work loads
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