Active for the last two decades, the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts comprises multiple iterations to examine and analyze civil litigation across the nation. The series allows for an in-depth look at civil trials over time, permitting researchers and policy makers to analyze trends.
The Civil Justice Survey of State Courts is the only series that compiles civil litigation data from state courts that is comparable across jurisdictions. As such, the series has provided academics, policymakers, and the judiciary with systematic and valuable empirical civil trial data.
The first iteration of the project explored civil dispositions concluded in 1992 from a sample of 45 of the 75 most populous counties in the nation.
The second iteration narrowed the focus to an investigation into cases disposed by trial, in 1996, from a sample of 45 of the 75 most populous counties in the nation.
The third iteration, which collected data from trials concluded in 2001, sampled from all 75 most populous counties. This iteration included a supplemental project to collect data from the appeals that followed some of the trial cases.
The fourth iteration, using trials concluded in 2005, collected a nationally representative sample of bench and jury trials concluded in 156 urban, suburban, and rural counties. This iteration also includes a supplemental project for appeals resulting from the sample of trials.