An empirically driven measurement of court workload is essential to the judicial system’s ability to efficiently handle its caseload. By weighting different types of cases to account for variations in complexity and the need for judicial attention, the weighted caseload method of workload assessment translates the number of cases that come before the court into the total amount of judicial work required to dispose of those cases. The result is an objective and standardized measure of judicial workload that provides an effective tool for negotiating with funding authorities, appropriately targeting reductions in judgeships necessitated by budget shortfalls and changing demographics, and redrawing jurisdictional boundaries to use resources more effectively and enhance access.
See the states where NCSC has performed workload assessments, and the types of projects completed.
The National Center for State Courts is widely recognized as the international leader in workload assessment for judges, public defenders, prosecutors, and their support staff. NCSC’s workload assessment methodology and data collection instruments have been refined over the course of more than 50 studies spanning over 20 years. More than 25 states currently rely upon NCSC weighted caseload formulas to determine the need for judges, court staff, prosecutors, and/or public defenders, support funding requests, and allocate justice system personnel within the state in an efficient and equitable fashion.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
This article from the 2013 edition of The Book of the States explains the weighted caseload method of workload assessment and provides practical examples of how states have used weighted caseload models.
This classic handbook provides an overview of various methods of assessing the need for judges and court support staff.
National Center for State Courts.
This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the number of Assistant District Attorneys and Victim Witness Legal Assistants required for the effective prosecution of cases in North Carolina.
Workflow Management Systems Vendors from the Court Technology Vendor List.