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Articles about the Federal Judicial Center, the education and research agency for the federal courts.

The different ways federal district courts provide settlement assistance to parties is the focus of a new study by the Federal Judicial Center (FJC). Eight district courts are participating in the study to be completed by late 2014.

A new guide on international commercial arbitration written for U.S. federal judges is now available online. In less than 100 pages, it offers a practical overview of a complicated area of law that has become the preferred means of resolving cross-border business disputes.

The 6th edition (pdf) of the Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges, a publication of the Federal Judicial Center, is now available online. The book, last updated in 2007, is a concise and practical guide to situations federal judges are likely to encounter on the bench. The Benchbook covers procedures that are required by statute, rule or case law, with detailed guidance from experienced trial judges.

When the United States celebrates Women’s History Month every March, images like Rosie the Riveter posters or pictures of marching suffragists come to mind. However, another image can be introduced in the framing of women’s history: a judicial robe.

More than 200 years after his birth, on Feb. 12, 1809, and with a movie about him in the Oscar spotlight, Abraham Lincoln remains a source of fascination to Americans, including those in the world of law.

In addition to debates, rallies, and political ads, election season often includes litigation. The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) has published a collection of 80 case studies on emergency election litigation in federal courts.

The potential trauma of high profile trials, the ubiquity of social media, tactics for reaching the plugged-in generation, and tips for maximizing jurors called for service in federal courts highlighted a recent workshop for court staff.

Some 30 years after the federal district courts started experimenting with alternative dispute resolution, more than one third of all federal trial courts regularly offer multiple forms of ADR, according to an informal survey by the Federal Judicial Center.

A Federal Judicial Center survey sent to almost 10,000 attorneys in civil cases asked if attorneys followed Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 (f), governing discovery, and participated in a Rule 16(b) scheduling conference with a judge or magistrate judge. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents reporting a Rule 26(f) meeting met for 30 minutes or less.

A recently published report focuses on programs, services, and materials federal courts have developed to assist “pro se” litigants – those who don’t have a lawyer’s help. The report also looks at what assistance exists for court staff in handling pro se cases.

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