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Category Archives: Courts

Two new resources – online dispute resolution

National Center for State Courts – “In case you haven’t seen them already, the Joint Technology Committee (JTC) published two resource bulletins last month on the topic of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). These papers provide excellent insight into how courts are leveraging technology to expand services and provide more timely and cost effective ways for citizens to resolve disputes. The first paper titled “ODR for Courts” provides a basic primer on ODR and describes several implementation models. The second titled “Case Studies in ODR for Courts: A view from the front lines” describes ODR implementations in a variety of court settings. These and many other JTC work products (including technology standards and white papers on technology topics of interest to the courts) are available on the JTC website at

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing of Federal Drug Offenses

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing of Federal Drug Offenses – CRS report via FAS – Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law, January 11, 2018: “As a general rule, federal judges must impose a minimum term of imprisonment upon defendants convicted of various controlled substance (drug) offenses and drug-related offenses. The severity of those sentences depends… Continue Reading

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s sneaky attack on partisan gerrymandering is beginning to pay dividends

Slate – Mark Joseph Stern: “On Tuesday, a federal district court made history by striking down North Carolina’s congressional map. The decision marks the first time a court has invalidated a congressional redistricting scheme as illegally gerrymandering along partisan lines. It arrives at a critical moment for the development of a legal theory that requires… Continue Reading

Online Publication of Court Decisions in Europe

Opijnen, Marc van and Peruginelli, Ginevra and Kefali, Eleni and Palmirani, Monica, Online Publication of Court Decisions in Europe (October 16, 2017). Legal Information Management, 17 (2017), pp. 136–145; doi:10.1017/S1472669617000299. Available at SSRN: – “Although nowadays most courts publish decisions on the internet, substantial differences exist between European countries regarding such publication. These differences not… Continue Reading

Legal Boot Camp for New Judges in New York

NYT – “Each new year, about 100 freshly sworn-in New York State judges get robe fittings, courthouse assignments, chambers and staff members as they prepare to take the bench. But there is one thing these new jurists lack: judicial experience. So the state sends them to “Judge School,” a four-day judicial boot camp offered the… Continue Reading

New Database to Research International Institutional Law: Oxford International Organizations

Posting by Sherry Xin Chen: “Oxford University Press (OUP) has just released a new database specialized in international institutional law, Oxford International Organizations (OXIO). OXIO is “the first of its kind” to aid users in their research and understanding of the “acts and practices of international organizations”, an integral part of public international law. OXIO… Continue Reading

Immigration Court Backlog Tops 650,000

“During the first two months of FY 2018, the Immigration Court number of pending cases climbed by an additional 30,000. According to the latest case-by-case court records, the backlog at the end of November 2017 had reached 658,728, up from 629,051 at the end of September 2017. Despite the hiring of many additional immigration judges,… Continue Reading

Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

The Chief Justice’s 2017 Year-End Report – Chief Justice John Roberts: “…We have a new challenge in the coming year. Events in recent months have illuminated the depth of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, and events in the past few weeks have made clear that the judicial branch is not immune. The judiciary… Continue Reading

Crowdsourcing accurately and robustly predicts Supreme Court decisions

Crowdsourcing accurately and robustly predicts Supreme Court decisions. Daniel Martin Katz, Michael James Bommarito II, Josh Blackman. arXiv:1712.03846 [physics.soc-ph] “Scholars have increasingly investigated “crowdsourcing” as an alternative to expert-based judgment or purely data-driven approaches to predicting the future. Under certain conditions, scholars have found that crowdsourcing can outperform these other approaches. However, despite interest in… Continue Reading

Supreme Court and Law Enforcement Access to Cell Phone Location Data

EFF: “Protecting the highly personal location data stored on or generated by digital devices is one of the 21st century’s most important privacy issues. In 2017, the Supreme Court finally took on the question of how law enforcement can get ahold of this sensitive information…EFF filed briefs both encouraging the court to take the case… Continue Reading

Paper – A Logic for Statutes

Lawsky, Sarah B., A Logic for Statutes (December 14, 2017). Florida Tax Review, Forthcoming; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 17-28. Available at SSRN: “Case-based reasoning is, without question, a puzzle. When students are taught to “think like lawyers” in their first year of law school, they are taught case-based common-law reasoning. Books on… Continue Reading

New York State Courts Announce High-Tech Courtrooms

National Center for State Courts – “A state-of-the-art courtroom designed to speed the progress of complex commercial cases is now up and running in Westchester County Supreme Court’s Commercial Division, which serves as a forum for the resolution of complicated business disputes. The Division’s Integrated Courtroom Technology (ICT) part, located in Westchester County’s Supreme and… Continue Reading