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Federal Court Cases: Integrated Data Base, 1970-2000

Resource Type
Dataset : event/transaction data
  • Federal Judicial Center
Other Title
  • Version 4 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Federal Court Cases: Integrated Database Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Free Keywords
administration; appellate courts; case dismissal; case processing; civil law; court cases; criminal law; defendants; disposition (legal); federal courts; judicial decisions; legal systems; pretrial procedures; records; trial courts; trial procedures
  • Abstract

    The purpose of this data collection is to provide an official public record of the business of the federal courts. The data originate from 94 district and 12 appellate court offices throughout the United States. Information was obtained at two points in the life of a case: filing and termination. The termination data contain information on both filing and terminations, while the pending data contain only filing information. For the appellate and civil data, the unit of analysis is a single case. The unit of analysis for the criminal data is a single defendant.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed consistency checks.; Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Criminal Terminations for 1970
    • DS2: Criminal Terminations for 1971
    • DS3: Criminal Terminations for 1972
    • DS4: Criminal Terminations for 1973
    • DS5: Criminal Terminations for 1974
    • DS6: Criminal Terminations for 1975
    • DS7: Criminal Terminations for 1976
    • DS8: Criminal Terminations for 1977
    • DS9: Criminal Terminations for 1978
    • DS10: Criminal Terminations for 1979
    • DS11: Criminal Terminations, 1980
    • DS12: Criminal Terminations, 1981
    • DS13: Criminal Terminations, 1982
    • DS14: Criminal Terminations, 1983
    • DS15: Appellate Terminations for 1971
    • DS16: Appellate Terminations for 1972
    • DS17: Appellate Terminations for 1973
    • DS18: Appellate Terminations for 1974
    • DS19: Appellate Terminations for 1975
    • DS20: Appellate Terminations for 1976
    • DS21: Appellate Terminations for 1977
    • DS22: Appellate Terminations for 1978
    • DS23: Appellate Terminations for 1979
    • DS24: Appellate Terminations for 1980
    • DS25: Appellate Terminations for 1981
    • DS26: Appellate Terminations for 1982
    • DS27: Appellate Terminations for 1983
    • DS28: Appellate Terminations for 1984
    • DS29: Criminal Terminations for 1984
    • DS30: Criminal Terminations for 1985
    • DS31: Criminal Terminations for 1986
    • DS32: Criminal Terminations for 1987
    • DS33: Criminal Pending, 1987
    • DS34: Appellate Terminations, 1985
    • DS35: Appellate Terminations, 1986
    • DS36: Appellate Terminations, 1987
    • DS37: Appellate Pending, 1987
    • DS38: Civil Terminations, 1970
    • DS39: Civil Terminations, 1971
    • DS40: Civil Terminations, 1972
    • DS41: Civil Terminations, 1973
    • DS42: Civil Terminations, 1974
    • DS43: Civil Terminations, 1975
    • DS44: Civil Terminations, 1976
    • DS45: Civil Terminations, 1977
    • DS46: Civil Terminations, 1978
    • DS47: Civil Terminations, 1979
    • DS48: Civil Terminations, 1980
    • DS49: Civil Terminations, 1981
    • DS50: Civil Terminations, 1982
    • DS51: Civil Terminations, 1983
    • DS52: Civil Terminations, 1984
    • DS53: Civil Terminations, 1985
    • DS54: Civil Terminations, 1986
    • DS55: Civil Terminations, 1987
    • DS56: Civil Pending, 1987
    • DS58: Criminal Terminations, 1988
    • DS59: Criminal Terminations, 1989
    • DS60: Criminal Pending, 1989
    • DS61: Appellate Terminations, 1988
    • DS62: Appellate Terminations, 1989
    • DS63: Appellate Pending, 1989
    • DS64: Civil Terminations, 1988
    • DS65: Civil Terminations, 1989
    • DS66: Civil Pending, 1989
    • DS67: Criminal Terminations, 1990
    • DS68: Criminal Terminations, 1991
    • DS69: Criminal Pending, 1991
    • DS70: Appellate Terminations, 1990
    • DS71: Appellate Terminations, 1991
    • DS72: Appellate Pending, 1991
    • DS73: Civil Terminations, 1990
    • DS74: Civil Terminations, 1991
    • DS75: Civil Pending, 1991
    • DS76: Criminal Terminations, 1992
    • DS77: Criminal Terminations, 1993
    • DS78: Criminal Terminations, 1994
    • DS79: Criminal Terminations, 1995
    • DS80: Criminal Pending, 1995
    • DS81: Criminal (Fugitive) Pending, 1995
    • DS82: Appellate Terminations, 1992
    • DS83: Appellate Terminations, 1993
    • DS84: Appellate Terminations, 1994
    • DS85: Appellate Pending, 1994
    • DS86: Civil Terminations, 1992
    • DS87: Civil Terminations, 1993
    • DS88: Civil Terminations, 1994
    • DS89: Civil Pending, 1994
    • DS96: Appellate Terminations, 1995
    • DS97: Appellate Pending, 1995
    • DS98: Civil Terminations, 1995
    • DS99: Civil Pending, 1995
    • DS100: Appellate Terminations, 1996
    • DS101: Appellate Terminations, 1997
    • DS102: Appellate Pending, 1997
    • DS103: Civil Terminations, 1996
    • DS104: Civil Terminations, 1997
    • DS105: Civil Pending, 1997
    • DS107: Appellate Terminations, 2000
    • DS108: Appellate Pending, 2000
    • DS109: Criminal Data, 1996
    • DS110: Criminal Data, 1997
    • DS111: Criminal Data, 1998
    • DS112: Criminal Data, 1999
    • DS113: Criminal Data, 2000
    • DS115: Civil Terminations, 1998
    • DS116: Civil Terminations, 1999
    • DS117: Civil Terminations, 2000
    • DS118: Civil Pending, 2000
    • DS119: Appellate Terminations, 1998
    • DS120: Appellate Terminations, 1999
    • DS121: Appellate Pending, 1999
Temporal Coverage
  • 1970 / 2000
    Time period: 1970--2000
  • 1970 / 2000
    Collection date: 1970--2000
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All federal court cases, 1970-2000.
Collection Mode
  • (1) Several, but not all, of these record counts include a final blank record. Researchers may want to detect this occurrence and eliminate this record before analysis. (2) In July 1984, a major change in the recording and disposition of an appeal occurred, and several data fields dealing with disposition were restructured or replaced. The new structure more clearly delineates mutually exclusive dispositions. Researchers must exercise care in using these fields for comparisons. (3) In 1992, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts changed the reporting period for statistical data. Up to 1992, the reporting period, or "statistical year," went from July through June (e.g., statistical year 1990 covered the period July 1989 through June 1990). In 1992, the statistical reporting period was changed to conform to the federal government's standard fiscal year, October through September (e.g., fiscal year 1993 covered the period October 1992 through September 1993). The 1970-1991 files, Parts 1-56 and 58-75, conform to the old statistical year (SY70-SY91). The 1992 data files, Parts 82 and 86, cover a 15-month time span (July 1991 through September 1992) to accommodate this conversion period. Subsequent files conform to the new fiscal year (October through September). (4) In fiscal year 1993, there was a change in the policy regarding the counting of defendants who had been fugitive for more than one year. Instead of remaining in the "Pending" file for that year, these cases are put into a separate "Criminal (Fugitive) Pending" file after the year has expired. This change is reflected beginning with the 1995 data. (5) Undocumented codes are present in the data. (6) The part numbers are not consecutive. (7) It is recommended by the principal investigators that only the most recent "Pending" files be used in analysis. (8) Starting in 1996, there are no longer separate criminal terminations and criminal pending data files. These two files were combined into one file called "Criminal Data." (9) In 2005 additional confidentiality measures were applied to many of the data files. Seventy-six data files had identifying information removed from the public use files. There are restricted use files which contain the data removed in 2005. A Data Transfer Agreement Form must be submitted to NACJD to obtain these data.

2012-05-22 All parts are being moved to restricted access and will be available only using the restricted access procedures.2005-04-29 The codebook files in Parts 57, 94, and 95 have undergone minor edits and been incorporated with their respective datasets. The SAS files in Parts 90, 91, 227, and 229-231 have undergone minor edits and been incorporated with their respective datasets. The SPSS files in Parts 92, 93, 226, and 228 have undergone minor edits and been incorporated with their respective datasets. Parts 15-28, 34-56, 61-66, 70-75, 82-89, 96-105, 107, 108, and 115-121 have had identifying information removed from the public use file and restricted data files that still include that information have been created. These parts have had their SPSS, SAS, and PDF codebook files updated to reflect the change. The data, SPSS, and SAS files for Parts 34-37 have been updated from OSIRIS to LRECL format. The codebook files for Parts 109-113 have been updated. The case counts for Parts 61-66 and 71-75 have been corrected in the study description. The LRECL for Parts 82, 100-102, and 105 have been corrected in the study description.2003-04-03 A codebook was created for Part 105, Civil Pending, 1997. Parts 232-233, SAS and SPSS setup files for Civil Data, 1996-1997, were removed from the collection since the civil data files for those years have corresponding SAS and SPSS setup files.2002-04-25 Criminal data files for Parts 109-113 have all been replaced with updated files. The updated files contain Criminal Terminations and Criminal Pending data in one file for the years 1996-2000. Part 114, originally Criminal Pending 2000, has been removed from the study and the 2000 pending data are now included in Part 113.2001-08-13 The following data files were revised to include plaintiff and defendant information: Appellate Terminations, 2000 (Part 107), Appellate Pending, 2000 (Part 108), Civil Terminations, 1996-2000 (Parts 103, 104, 115-117), and Civil Pending, 2000 (Part 118). The corresponding SAS and SPSS setup files and PDF codebooks have also been edited.2001-04-12 Criminal Terminations (Parts 109-113) data for 1996-2000 and Criminal Pending (Part 114) data for 2000 have been added to the data collection, along with corresponding SAS and SPSS setup files and PDF codebooks.2001-03-26 Appellate Terminations (Part 107) and Appellate Pending (Part 108) data for 2000 have been added to the data collection, along with corresponding SAS and SPSS setup files and PDF codebooks.1997-07-16 The data for 18 of the Criminal Data files were matched to the wrong part numbers and names, and now have been corrected. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8429 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08429.v5
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08429.v3
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  • Schlanger, Margo. How prisoners' rights lawyers are preserving the role of the courts. University of Miami Law Review.2015.
  • Schlanger, Margo. Trends in prisoner litigation, as the PLRA enters adulthood. UC Irvine Law Review.2015.
  • Cangioni, Carole, Spataro, Sandra. International intellectual property disputes: The impact of national culture on preferences for dispute resolution method. Journal of Business Diversity.14, (1), 35-47.2014.
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  • Whytock, Christopher A.. The arbitration-litigation relationship in transnational dispute resolution: Empirical insights from the U.S. Federal Courts. World Arbitration and Mediation Review.2, (5), 39-82.2008.
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  • Lizotte, Brian N.. Publish or perish: The electronic availability of summary judgments by eight District Courts. Wisconsin Law Review.107-150.2007.
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  • Hadfield, Gillian K.. Judging science: An essay on the unscientific basis of beliefs about the impact of legal rules on science and the need for better data about law. Journal of Law and Policy.14, 1372006.
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  • Leipold, Andrew D., Abbasi, Hossein A.. The impact of joinder and severance on federal criminal cases: An empircal study . Vanderbilt Law Review .59, (2), 349-404.2006.
  • Malani, Anup. Habeas Settlements. Virginia Law Review.92, (1), 12006.
  • Boylan, Richard T.. What do prosecutors maximize? Evidence from the careers of U.S. attorneys. American Law and Economics Review.7, (2), 379-402.2005.
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  • Cheng, Edward K., Yoon, Albert H.. Does Frye or Daubert matter? A study of scientific admissibility standards. Virginia Law Review.91, (2), 471-513.2005.
  • Hadfield, Gillian K.. Exploring economic and democratic theories of civil litigation: Differences between individual and organizational litigants in the disposition of Federal civil cases. Stanford Law Review.57, 12752005.
  • Helland, Eric, Klick, Jonathan, Tabarrok, Alexander. Data watch: Tort-uring the data. Journal of Economic Perspectives.19, (2), 207-220.2005.
  • Kerr, Dana A.. The effect of ownership structure on insurance company litigation strategy. Journal of Legal Studies.34, 2732005.
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  • Leipold, Andrew D.. How the pretrial process contributes to wrongful convictions. American Criminal Law Review.42, (4), 1123-1166.2005.
  • Leipold, Andrew D.. Why are federal judges so acquittal prone?. Washington University Law Quarterly.83, (1), 151-228.2005.
  • Palmer, John R.B., Yale-Loehr, Stephen W., Cronin, Elizabeth. Why are so many people challenging Board of Immigration appeals decisions in federal court? An empirical analysis of the recent surge in petitions for review. Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.20, (1), 1-100.2005.
  • Urban Institute. Federal Criminal Case Processing, 2002: With trends 1982-2002. Federal Justice Statistics: Reconciled Data.NCJ 207447, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2005.
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  • Burbank, Stephen B.. Vanishing trials and summary judgment in federal civil cases: Drifting toward Bethlehem or Gomorrah?. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.1, (3), 591-626.2004.
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  • Eisenberg, Theodore. Appeal rates and outcomes in tried and nontried cases: Further exploration of anti-plaintiff appellate outcomes. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.1, (3), 659-688.2004.
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  • Farrington, David P., Langan, Patrick A., Tonry, Michael, et al.. Cross-National Studies in Crime and Justice: England and Wales, United States, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Scotlands, Sweden, Switzerland. NCJ 200988, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2004.
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  • Galanter, Marc. The vanishing trial: An examination of trials and related matters in federal and state courts. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.1, (3), 459-570.2004.
  • Gillespie, William Lee. Constrained Justice: Investigating the Influence of the U.S. Courts of Appeals on District Court Sentencing Behavior. Dissertation, University of Georgia. 2004.
  • Graham, Stuart, Somaya, Deepak. Complementary Uses of Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks by Software Firms: Evidence from Litigation . . 2004.
  • Hadfield, Gillian K.. Where have all the trials gone? Settlements, non-trial adjudications and statistical artifacts in the changing disposition of federal civil cases. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.1, (3), 705-734.2004.
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  • Motivans, Mark. Intellectual Property Theft, 2002. NCJ 205800, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2004.
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  • Piehl, Anne M., Schlanger, Margo. Determinants of civil rights filings in federal district court by jail and prison inmates. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.1, (1), 79-109.2004.
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  • Sherry, Edward F., Teece, David J.. Royalties, evolving patent rights, and the value of innovation. Research Policy.33, (2), 179-191.2004.
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  • Zeidenberg, Matthew. Reflecting Society: Studies in Federal Civil Litigation Involving Businesses, 1971-2004. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 2004.
  • Eisenberg, Theodore, Hill, Elizabeth. Employment Arbitration and Litigation: An Empirical Comparison. Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series.65, New York, NY: New York University School of Law. 2003.
  • Helland, Eric, Tabarrok, Alexander. Race, poverty, and American tort awards: Evidence from three datasets. Journal of Legal Studies.32, (1), 27-58.2003.
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Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

Federal Judicial Center (1990): Federal Court Cases: Integrated Data Base, 1970-2000. Version 4. Federal Court Cases: Integrated Database Series. Version: v4. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.