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Survey of Judges on the Role of Courts in American Society, 1979

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Yankelovich, Skelly
  • White, Inc.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office for Improvements in the Administration of Justice
Free Keywords
case processing; caseloads; civil law; conflict resolution; court cases; court costs; court system; federal courts; judges; judicial decisions; legal systems; state courts; time utilization; work environment; working hours
  • Abstract

    This survey was conducted in order to obtain from judges their views and experiences regarding the role of courts in American society, specifically on issues of caseload management. From a sample representing five regions of the country, 104 federal and state judges were interviewed about their general work practices and performance in court over the year previous to August 1979. Variables describe the amount of time judges spent on routine judicial activities, characteristics of cases requiring excessive time, the mechanisms employed in the resolution of civil disputes, techniques for reducing or more expeditiously handling heavy caseloads, and suggestions for extra-judicial dispute settlement processes that could serve as alternatives to courts. Data are also available on each judge's legal education, legal experience, and personal background.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1978 / 1979
    Time period: 1978--1979
  • Collection date: 1979
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Federal and state trial court judges in the United States.
This data collection is the result of interviews conducted with two types of judges from five districts: Milwaukee/Eastern Wisconsin, South Carolina, Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania, Albuquerque/New Mexico, and Los Angeles/Central California. A random sample of the 41 federal trial court judges actively serving on United States district courts in those districts resulted in 29 interviews, and a purposive sample of the 265 state trial court judges who presided over state courts of general jurisdiction in those districts resulted in 75 interviews. State judges were selected randomly except in two recently unified state jurisdictions -- South Carolina and Wisconsin -- where emphasis was placed on interviewing judges who had previously been state circuit judges. The five districts chosen could not represent the full range of courts throughout the country, but did provide a sample that was representative in terms of region, size, and degree of urbanization.
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7824 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Yankelovich, Skelly; White, Inc. (1984): Survey of Judges on the Role of Courts in American Society, 1979. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.