Federal Judicial Center

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Federal Judicial Center

The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) was created by Congress in 1967 (28 U.S.C.A. § 620) to enhance the growth of Judicial Administration in federal courts. It has become the judicial branch's agency for planning and policy research, systems development, and continuing education for judges and court personnel. It is located in the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, in Washington, D.C.

Because of increasing caseloads and the growing complexity of the law, court administration has become an important part of the judicial branch. Congress gave the FJC a broad mandate to improve the performance of the courts and judges through research, planning, and education.

The FJC conducts research on the operation of federal courts and coordinates similar research with other public and private persons and agencies. The FJC works with its state-court counterpart, the National Center for State Courts, which is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, on issues that are common to state and federal courts. The staff of the FJC has conducted research on the workings of different rules of federal procedure and on topics such as the role of court-appointed experts. The FJC also conducts empirical studies on the courts, analyzing the ways in which different federal courts process certain types of cases. In addition, it provides support to judicial systems in foreign countries.

The research and planning efforts of the FJC extend to providing support for the Judicial Conference of the United States. The Judicial Conference is composed of the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the chief judge from each circuit court of appeals, the chief judge of the Court of International Trade, and a district judge from each circuit. The conference is the federal judiciary's central policy-making organ and the federal court's chief liaison with Congress. It meets twice per year and functions through a system of twenty-five committees that focus on particular judicial and administrative issues. The FJC's research support to these committees is critical to their effectiveness.

The FJC has also has had a role in the introduction of computers and automated data processing to the court system. It has developed materials to help courts around the United States move from tracking cases in large ledger books to using computer database systems.

Continuing education for judges and court personnel is another major responsibility of the FJC. The FJC presents seminars and other types of training that help the federal courts prepare for legislative changes in criminal and Civil Law. Topical programs in areas such as immigration law and sentencing guidelines are among the FJC's educational offerings. The FJC also prepares handbooks and other written materials to teach new judges and court personnel how to carry out their duties fairly and efficiently.

The FJC's basic policies and activities are determined by its board, which includes two judges of the circuit courts of appeals, three judges of the district courts, and one Bankruptcy judge. The Judicial Conference elects these members for four-year terms. The chief justice of the Supreme Court acts as chair, and the director of the administrative office of the u.s. courts is also a non-elected member.

As of 2002, the FJC had an annual budget of $20 million and a staff of 142 people. It has relied increasingly on the use of broadcasting to deliver educational and informational programming through its Federal Judicial Television Network. By 2001, it was presenting over 2,000 hours of televised programming through this network to 300 federal court locations. In addition, the FJC has begun to distribute computerbased instructional programs.

Further readings

Federal Judicial Center 2001 Annual Report. Available online at <www.fjc.gov> (accessed November 12, 2003).

U.S. Government Manual Website. Available online at <www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual> (accessed November 10, 1993).

References in periodicals archive ?
Federal Judicial Center, Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, 3rd ed.
118) Thus, the crucial piece of information in many cases is not what defendants actually paid in discovery, but what they would have paid had they not settled, and this information was not (and probably could not have been) collected in the 2009 Federal Judicial Center study.
Federal Judicial Center, Report of the Study Group on the Caseload of the Supreme Court (Fed.
The proposed legislation would also increase the funding for the Federal Judicial Center to permit the Center to sanction and pay judges' way to non-Federal Judicial Center seminars.
The Federal Judicial Center will examine a number of questions arising from such appointments, such as the following:
In a 1996 survey by the Federal Judicial Center, four-fifths of district and circuit court judges said the guidelines written by the U.
The Federal Judicial Center recommended relaxing the ban on cameras in federal courts, but by the time it came up for consideration, the Simpson media circus was in full roar.
Or, use the text links toward the bottom of the main Government Affairs page to visit the White House, the Cabinet, Independent Federal Agencies and Commissions, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Library of Congress, or the Federal Judicial Center.
The conference apparently was unimpressed by a study by the Federal Judicial Center, the federal courts' research arm, which found TV had caused no significant disruption during the experiment (see "The Press and the Law," June).
Murrah of the Tenth Circuit and an early director of the Federal Judicial Center, used to quote frequently his own maxim that opens the Manual on Complex Litigation, a seminal document that resulted from his judicial training seminars that began in the late 1950s: "There are no inherently protracted cases, only cases that unnecessarily are protracted by inefficient procedures and management.
He has been invited to lecture in the United States and several foreign countries by the Department of Commerce, the Federal Judicial Center, Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Stanford Law School, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, and George Washington Law School.
American delegation led by Director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC Mr.

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