The Federal Judicial Center, the research arm of the federal courts, turned 50 yesterday.
The FJC is well-known but probably underappreciated. It allows the court system to investigate its own operations — from the ways procedural rules are employed to the manner in which cases are allocated. Its seminal work on weighted caseloads, court productivity, and the frequency and nature of motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment (among many other things) have helped the court system understand and adapt its procedures to promote efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In addition, having a top-notch research institution in-house allows the courts to investigate issues of interest without having to rely on external sources.
If you have not explored the FJC’s research library, it’s worth a careful look. It is indispensable for those who study the federal courts, or simply want to know more about their operations.
Happy birthday and congratulations!