Tag Archives: statistics

Visiting judges visiting less

Over the last six years, CA3’s use of visiting judges — any judge who’s not a Third Circuit judge — has plummeted:

In raw numbers, visiting judges in 2008 sat on CA3 appeals 443 times; by 2013, they sat only 72 times.

Here is how the Third Circuit compares to the other circuits for 2013:

So CA3 (orange bar) is now at the low end, but CA5 and CA10 are even lower–and CADC used no visiting judges in 2013, for the 5th year in a row.

So the Third Circuit is using fewer visiting judges than it did, but why? It’s not due to fewer appeals. This chart below shows how many times a judge was assigned to a Third Circuit merits panel per year:

So judge-assignments in the circuit are rising, not dropping. The difference is that active CA3 judges are filling a lot more slots now: about 5,000 in 2008, over 6,500 in 2013.

So I don’t have an explanation, but the bottom line is more Third Circuit cases are getting decided by active Third Circuit judges.

Source: AOC Federal court management statistics, 9/13 / case participations

2013 Statistics

The AOC has released the most recent batch of federal court data, for the year ending in March 31, 2013.

Some Third Circuit highlights:

  • the overall reversal rate was 5.4% (rate for all circuits was 6.9%, with the DC & 7th Circuits by far the highest and the 10th & 4th the lowest);
  • the reversal rate for private civil cases was almost twice as high as for criminal cases (10.3% vs. 5.3%);
  • less than 1% of federal-prisoner-petition appeals resulted in reversal, the lowest rate of any circuit; and
  • 3,720 cases were terminated. That’s about 3 cases per judge per week.

Nationally, the total number of cases filed has been dropping since 2006.

For more:

2013 federal caseload statistics

Past years’ stats