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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mapping The Iceberg: The Impact Of Data Sources On The Study Of District Courts, Christina L. Boyd, Pauline T. Kim, Margo Schlanger Aug 2020

Mapping The Iceberg: The Impact Of Data Sources On The Study Of District Courts, Christina L. Boyd, Pauline T. Kim, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Three decades ago, Siegelman and Donohue aptly characterized research about courts and litigation that relied only on published opinions as “studying the iceberg from its tip.” They implored researchers to view published district court opinions “with greater sensitivity to the ways in which such cases are unrepresentative of all cases”. The dynamic, multistage nature of trial court litigation makes a focus solely on published opinions particularly ill-suited to the study of federal district courts. Expanded electronic access to court documents now allows more pre-cise analysis of the ways in which published cases are unrepresentative and what differences that makes for …


Submerged Precedent, Elizabeth Mccuskey Apr 2016

Submerged Precedent, Elizabeth Mccuskey

Faculty Scholarship

Numerous studies have pointed to the skewed picture of trial courts' workload, management, and disposition of cases that exists from examining Westlaw and Lexis opinions alone, akin to navigating the iceberg from its tip.4 But submerged precedent pushes docketology in an uncharted direction by identifying a mass of reasoned opinions-putative precedent and not mere evidence of decision-making-that exist only on dockets. Submerged precedent thus raises the specter that docket-based research may be necessary in some areas to ascertain an accurate picture of the law itself not just trial courts' administration of it.

The existence of a submerged body …


Docketology, District Courts And Doctrine, David A. Hoffman, Alan J. Izenman, Jeffrey Lidicker Jan 2007

Docketology, District Courts And Doctrine, David A. Hoffman, Alan J. Izenman, Jeffrey Lidicker

All Faculty Scholarship

Empirical legal scholars have traditionally modeled trial court judicial opinion writing by assuming that judges act rationally, seeking to maximize their influence by writing opinions in politically important cases. Support for this hypothesis has reviewed published trial court opinions, finding that civil rights and other "hot" topics are more likely to be explained than purportedly ordinary legal problems involved in resolving social security and commercial law cases. This orthodoxy comforts consumers of legal opinions, because it suggests that they are largely representative of judicial work. To test such views, we collected data from a thousand cases in four different jurisdictions. …


Using Court Records For Research, Teaching, And Policymaking: The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, Margo Schlanger, Denise Lieberman Jan 2006

Using Court Records For Research, Teaching, And Policymaking: The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, Margo Schlanger, Denise Lieberman

Articles

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is, wisely, planning the future of its enormous collection of relatively recent court records. The pertinent regulation, a “records disposition schedule” first issued in 1995 by the Judicial Conference of the United States in consultation with NARA, commits the Archives to keeping, permanently, all case files dated 1969 or earlier; all case files dated 1970 or later in which a trial was held, and “any civil case file which NARA has determined in consultation with court officials to have historical value.” Other files may be destroyed 20 years after they enter the federal …


What We Know, And What We Should Know About American Trial Trends, Margo Schlanger Jan 2006

What We Know, And What We Should Know About American Trial Trends, Margo Schlanger

Articles

More than a few people noticed that the American court system was seeing ever fewer trials before Marc Galanter named the phenomenon.' But until Galanter mobilized lawyers2 and scholars to look systematically at the issue, inquiry was both piecemeal and sparse. Over the past three years, in contrast, Galanter's research 3 and his idea entrepreneurship, crystallized in the "Vanishing Trial" label, has spawned if not a huge literature at least a substantial one. We have now gotten the benefit of sustained scholarly inquiry by researchers of many stripes. Their work has been largely, though not entirely, empirical, and so we …


Induced Litigation, Chris Guthrie, Tracey E. George Jan 2004

Induced Litigation, Chris Guthrie, Tracey E. George

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

If "justice delayed" is "justice denied,"justice is often denied in American courts. Delay in the courts is a "ceaseless and unremitting problem of modem civil justice" that "has an irreparable effect on both plaintiffs and defendants." To combat this seemingly intractable problem, judges and court administrators routinely clamor for additional judicial resources to enable them to manage their dockets more "effectively and efficiently." By building new courthouses and adding new judgeships, a court should be able to manage its caseload more efficiently. Trial judges should be able to hold motion hearings, host settlement conferences, and conduct trials in a timely …


Trial By Jury Or Judge: Which Is Speedier?, Theodore Eisenberg, Kevin M. Clermont Feb 1996

Trial By Jury Or Judge: Which Is Speedier?, Theodore Eisenberg, Kevin M. Clermont

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Many take as a given that jury-tried cases consume more time than judge-tried cases. Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, for example, opines: “Court queues are almost always greatest for parties seeking civil jury trials. This makes economic sense. Such trials are more costly than bench trials both because of jury fees (which … understate the true social costs of the jury) and because a case normally takes longer to try to a jury than to a judge …. Parties are therefore “charged” more for jury trials by being made to wait in line longer.”

A close reading reveals …