Kopf’s response to Amanda A. Farahany’s request for data

Ms. Farahany wondered what my summary judgment dismissal rate was for cases falling in nature of suit codes 442 (civil rights: jobs) and 445 (Civil rights: Americans with Disabilities-Employment) during the years 2011 and 2012 regardless of when suit was filed. She asked for cases where summary judgment was granted in whole, granted in part, or denied in whole. See Amanda A. Farahany, October 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm here.

I had my judicial assistant run a query of CM/ECF to produce the requested information. I then had my judicial assistant contact the deputy-in-charge in Lincoln to verify her approach. The deputy-in-charge then ran another query using a different method and came up with the same results.  I played no part in running the numbers except for telling the staff the parameters requested by Ms. Farahany.

Here are some caveats:

*Cases where summary judgment was granted only in part include at least one case where the case went away on the federal level because I declined to exercise “supplemental jurisdiction” on state law claims.

*I have not gone back into the court file to read any of the orders. That is, I relied on the docket text for the disposition. I would suggest that the consumer of this data go into the docket of each case, click on the filing number for the order (which has been provided), and verify that the docket text is accurate.

*There were only 7 cases that fit the search criteria.  Our civil docket has dramatically fallen over the years. Vince says this is because plaintiffs’ lawyers avoid federal court like the plague. Whatever the reason, we end up doing a lot of federal criminal work. This year we rank 8th in the nation for federal criminal filings per active judge for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013. We rank 7th in the nation for federal supervised release violation proceedings. This compares to our rank of 76th for civil cases.  Overall, we rank 27th in the nation for all filings per active judge.

*We do not normally employ magistrate judges to issue reports and recommendations for these types of summary judgment motions.

Here are the statistics for my docket for 2011 and 2012 using the aforementioned criteria:

Case style: Nugara v. Nebraska Association of Public Employees, et al.
Case number: 4:09CV3212
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 69
Summary judgment granted in whole: no
Summary judgment granted in part: yes
Summary judgment denied in whole: no

Case style: Williams v. Rehtmeyer, et al.
Case number: 8:10CV92
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 54
Summary judgment granted in whole: yes
Summary judgment granted in part: no
Summary judgment denied in whole: no

Case style: Ryan v. Capital Contractors, Inc.
Case number: 4:10CV3019
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 61
Summary judgment granted in whole: yes
Summary judgment granted in part: no
Summary judgment denied in whole: no

Case style: Bodfield v. AG Valley Cooperative, Non-Stock
Case number: 4:10CV3097
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 31
Summary judgment granted in whole: yes
Summary judgment granted in part: no
Summary judgment denied in whole: no

Case style: Ellis et al. v. Houston, et al.
Case number: 8:10CV3222
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 134
Summary judgment granted in whole: yes
Summary judgment granted in part: no
Summary judgment denied in whole: no

Case style: Chamberlin v. Cable USA
Case number: 7:10CV5011
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 39
Summary judgment granted in whole: no
Summary judgment granted in part: no
Summary judgment denied in whole: yes

Case style: Anderson v. Cabela’s, Inc.
Case number: 4:11CV3022
Summary judgment Memorandum and Order filing no.: 43
Summary judgment granted in whole: yes
Summary judgment granted in part: no
Summary judgment denied in whole: no

RGK

3 responses

  1. Judge Kopf,

    Thank you for taking the time to provide your summary judgment orders. I truly appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation with you about this topic. Our federal bench has chosen not to comment on the study and article, which disappoints me, as I was hoping we could open a dialogue on this issue.

    As you can see, your ‘statistics’ are actually lower than the Northern District of Georgia. (71% dismissal/14% ‘unscathed’ v. 82% dismissal/6% unscathed). Many of our judges who had seven cases dismissed 100%. Additionally, some of the judges that had twice your case load dismissed 100%.

    What do you think about those differences?

  2. Amanda,

    Thanks. I have a jury in a criminal case deliberating now, so I may not get you a response until tomorrow. In any event, I will respond with a separate post, so that others who might be interested are more likely to find our discussion. All the best.

    RGK

  3. Pingback: When it comes to employment cases, judges are killing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 « Hercules and the umpire.

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