Appellate Justice

Criminal Appeals

The NCSC, funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), conducted a project which created a nationally representative database of criminal appeals disposed in the United States in 2010. The database consists of over 5,000 criminal appeals from all 143 state appellate courts with criminal jurisdiction. The case-level data collected by the NCSC will provide the means for courts and researchers to conduct an analysis of timeliness through the various case milestones, describe what legal issues were raised and addressed on appeal, as well as uncover how the courts resolved the appeals.

Publications of interest:

CSP Caseload Highlights, Achieving Timely Resolution for Criminal Appeals in State Courts (May 2016)

The Criminal Appeals in State Courts BJS Bulletin, produced September 2015, and the Criminal Appeals project’s data and codebooks are released and available here.

Appellate CourTools

The NCSC is developing a balanced set of performance measures for appellate courts. Drawing on the knowledge of appellate court clerks and justices, the Appellate CourTools are a feasible and balanced set of measures designed to capture key appellate court outcomes.

Supplemental Survey of Civil Appeals, 2005

This project is the first to examine civil appeals from a nationwide sample. The data cover civil appeals from final judgments or verdicts from 2005 across 156 counties and 160 courts. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the project’s data and codebooks will be released for public access in 2011.

Appellate Court Statistical Reporting

The Court Statistics Project, working with the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks, designed a national reporting framework for appellate court caseload statistics, incorporated as a section of the State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting (v. 1.3). The new reporting framework facilitates meaningful comparison among appellate courts in terms of caseloads and manner of disposition.

Related publications of interest:

Caseload Highlights, March 2007: How often are trials reversed or affirmed?
Caseload Highlights, July 2007: What type of trial errors are associated with appellate reversal rates?

Appellate Court Functional Standards

The NCSC's technology staff, working collaboratively with appellate court staff, publish a set of functional standards designed to assist appellate courts with specifying technical requirements for appellate case management software systems.

Past projects >

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005


Review of Best Practices for Enhancing Appellate Court Communications and Collegiality for the Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal (CCJSCA), 2019-2020

Strategic Planning Project for the Colorado Court of Appeals, 2019-2020


Intermediate Appellate Court Presentation for the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD), 2017


Development of Innovative Approaches to Case Resolution (SJI Grant), 2016

Appellate Court Case Management System (CMS) Assessment for the Ohio Courts, 2016

Operational Assessment of the State of Washington Appellate Court, 2016


Development of Appellate Court Time Standards (SJI Grant), 2015


Organizational Assessment of the DC Court of Appeals, 2014


Review of Louisiana Appellate Work Point Values and Case Complexity, 2012

“The Role of Intermediate Appellate Courts; Principles for Change”, (CCJSCA white paper, 2012)


Assessment of Operations and Technology for the Michigan Court of Appeals, 2011

Operational Assessment of the Minnesota Supreme Court, 2011

“Attributes of Legal Staff in Intermediate Appellate Courts”, (CCJSCA white paper, 2011)

Evaluation of Research Staff for the Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeals (SJI Grant), 2011

Operational Assessment of Massachusetts Appeal Court and Report Presentation, 2011


Operational Assessment of the Louisiana Supreme Court, 2010

Conduct of Survey of Employee Engagement for the Massachusetts Court of Appeals, 2010

Workload Assessment for Judges and Staff for Oregon Court of Appeals (SJI Grant), 2010


Conduct Survey of Employee Engagement for the Massachusetts Court of Appeals, 2009

Develop a Court Performance Measurement System for the Appellate Courts for the Supreme Court of Arizona, 2009


Appellate Workflow Study for the Iowa Supreme Court, 2008

Case Management Study for the Appellate Division First Department for the New York State Supreme Court, 2008

Organizational and Operational Assessment of the Clerk’s Office for the Massachusetts Appeals Court, 2008


Analysis of the Proposed Revision to the Arkansas Appellate Court Rules (Technical Assistance) 2007

Assessment of Court Technology in the Appellate Courts for the Indiana Supreme Court, 2007

Case Processing Study of the Appellate Court for the Minnesota State Court Administrator, 2007


Assessment of Clerk’s Office for Alaska Supreme Court and Appellate Court, 2006


Arkansas Court of Appeals Management Review of Court Clerk’s Office, 2005