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1 New Case Weights for Computing Each District's Weighted Filings per Judgeship (rev. ed.) [i] (1996)

handle is hein.congcourts/necwcomd0001 and id is 1 raw text is: New Case Weights
For Computing Each District's Weighted Filings Per Judgeship
(Revised 3/27/96)
The attached tables show new case weights derived from the Federal Judicial Center's
1987-1993 District Court Time Study and approved by the Subcommittee on Judicial Statistics
for use in calculating the districts' annual Weighted Filings Per Judgeship. The weights have
been scaled to the same unit of measurement as the previous weights, which were derived from
the Judicial Center's 1979 District Court Time Study. There are several changes in how the
weights are applied, as follows.
*  The weights are applied only at the time of initial filing of a case in the district (i.e., only for
cases arising as original proceedings, by removal from state court, or by interdistrict transfer).
Cases arising by reopening, remand, or appeal from a magistrate judgment are not counted in
the weighted filings calculation (although such cases would have been counted at the time of
their initial filing in the district). Cases transferred to the district by order of the Judicial
Panel on Multi-District litigation are also excluded from the weighted filings calculation.
The burden imposed on the transferee district by Multi-District Litigation cases cannot be
accounted for realistically by the weighted filings statistic, and so should be considered
independently of weighted filings in determining a district's need for additional judgeships.
*  The weights for criminal cases are applied on a per-defendant basis, rather than on a per-case
basis. Hence a case with three defendants all charged with the same offense will be weighted
at three time the weight associated with that offense.
*  The districts' weighted filings are presented in conjunction with a 95% confidence interval to
indicate the statistical reliability of the estimates.
The confidence interval serves as a reminder of the limited accuracy of the caseweighting
system. There are two important ways in which a district's weighted filings may
misrepresent the true burden of that district's caseload. The confidence interval reflects only
one of these two possible sources of error: the likelihood that the luck of the draw in
selecting cases for inclusion in the time study created an unrepresentative sample of cases.
The second source of error is not accounted for by the confidence interval. It is the
possibility that cases of a given type in one district are not representative of such cases
nationwide. The weighted filings measure employs an implicit assumption that the cases of a
given type in a given district are merely a random selection chosen from among all cases of
that type filed nationwide. We do not know how much error may inhere in that assumption,
and it is not accounted for by the confidence interval figures. Factors indicating that a
district's cases are not typical of those nationwide should be considered legitimate evidence of
the unreliability of the weighted filings statistic as applied to that district.
The time study data include reports of judge time expended on a representative sample of
approximately 5,000 criminal defendants and 9,000 civil cases filed between November, 1987
and January, 1991. Although both magistrate judges and Article III judges participated in the
study, only time reported by Article III judges is accounted for in the weights presented here. A
forthcoming report from the Judicial Center will provide a detailed explanation of the time study
and the case weights.

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