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Category Archives: Courts

Which Judges Juggle the Most Civil Cases? TRAC Update Reveals Answers

“Federal District Judge Billy Roy Wilson of the Eastern District of Arkansas closed 3,008 civil cases in the twelve-month period ending June 30, more than any other judge in the nation. Meanwhile, Judge James “Rodney” Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas closed the most cases when the court’s case-weighting system, which seeks to account for the varying complexity of different types of cases, is applied. Those are just two of the findings in a new report from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. TRAC researchers have been mining the research center’s newest data tool in search of judges with exceptionally high caseloads. The new TRAC report out today also examines which judges have the most pending cases (one has more than 60,000 cases) for major categories of lawsuit such as civil rights, product liability and property rights. The report’s data comes from TRAC’s Civil Judge caseload tool, a part of its Judge Information Center. The tool provides comprehensive caseload information for all active and senior district court judges who have handled more than 50 cases in the past year — 950 in all. Reporters, researchers and citizens can all use the tool to examine the caseload of any judge of interest. The full report is available at: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/judge/368/
TRAC’s Judge Information Center and its data tools on criminal sentencing, civil caseloads, and immigration asylum denials are at: http://tracfed.syr.edu/judges/interp/

CRS – The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations

The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Overview, Denis Steven Rutkus, Visiting Scholar. October 22, 2014 “In recent decades, the process for appointing judges to the U.S. circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. district courts has been of continuing Senate interest. The responsibility for making these appointments is shared byContinue Reading

USA v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling: Selected Case Files

Via FAS, there are several dozen documents in this compendium including: On January 6, 2011, the Department of Justice announced the indictment of former CIA officer Jeffrey A. Sterling on charges of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. A trial date has been set for January 14, 2015 (jury selection on January 8, 2015). Selected CaseContinue Reading

Service offers a better way to search federal court records than PACER

Via Robert Ambrogi – ABA Journal – a snippet of his review of PacerPro – Find Bookmark Download:  “PacerPro provides a clean, modern interface to the PACER system. But PacerPro is more than just lipstick on a pig. It actually improves on the federal site through features such as real-time universal search, aggregated search results andContinue Reading

Confronting Cognitive ‘Anchoring Effect’ and ‘Blind Spot’ Biases in Federal Sentencing

Bennett, Mark W., Confronting Cognitive ‘Anchoring Effect’ and ‘Blind Spot’ Biases in Federal Sentencing: A Modest Solution for Reforming a Fundamental Flaw (July 5, 2014). Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 104, No. 3, p. 489, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2503423 “Cognitive “anchoring effect” bias, especially related to numbers, like sentencing guidelines ranges,Continue Reading

Commentary – Should the Private Sector Drive PACER?

David Perla, Law Technology News – “An uproar recently erupted in the legal community that raises the question of where the market should expect to rely on the government—and where it should look to private industry. The catalyst for the recent debate was when decades’ worth of public records from five federal courts—the U.S. Court of AppealsContinue Reading

Appeals Court Limits Military Surveillance of Civilian Internet Use

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in United States v. Dreyer that an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service violated Defense Department regulations and the Posse Comitatus Act when he conducted a surveillance operation in Washington state to identify civilians who might be sharing illegal files. The 1878 Act prevents the U.S.Continue Reading

The Case for Writing International Law into the U.S. Code

Coyle, John F., The Case for Writing International Law into the U.S. Code (September 19, 2014). Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2498681 “In recent years, the U.S. judiciary has taken steps to limit the role played by international law in the U.S. legal system. This Article seeks to explain this retreatContinue Reading

Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

CRS – Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues. Emily M. Lanz, Legislative Attorney; Thomas J. Nicola, Legislative Attorney. September 17, 2014 “Calculations indicating that the Social Security program will not be financially sustainable in the long run under the present statutory scheme have fueled the current debate regarding Social Security reform. This report addresses selectedContinue Reading

Libraries may digitize books without permission, EU top court rules

Loek Essers – PC World: “European libraries may digitize books and make them available at electronic reading points without first gaining consent of the copyright holder, the highest European Union court ruled Thursday. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in a case in which the Technical University of Darmstadt digitized a book published byContinue Reading

EPIC, Legal Scholars, Technical Experts Urge Federal Appeals Court to Safeguard Telephone “Metadata”

“EPIC has filed an amicus curiae brief, joined by 33 technical experts and legal scholars, in support of a challenge to the NSA telephone record collection program. The case, Smith v. Obama will be heard by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this fall. Earlier this year, a lower court ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not protectContinue Reading

Violence Policy Center – When Men Murder Women

When Men Murder Women, An Analysis of 2012 Homicide Data. September 2014. “Intimate partner violence against women is all too common and takes many forms. The most serious is homicide by an intimate partner. Guns can easily turn domestic violence into domestic homicide. One federal study on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners areContinue Reading