Rush to Judgment

Federal judges who take more than six months to decide a motion are shamed by having their names placed on The Six-Month List. The List is published internally twice a year, on March 31 and September 30.

A recent study shows, despite a noisy data sample, that cases decided near List time were 18% more likely to favor defendants. Cases closed during List weeks were 40% more likely to be reversed and remanded on appeal. In short, the List appears to encourage rushed, pro-defendant decision-making.

Although not addressed in the study, it would be interesting to know whether, in the Connecticut state court system, the odds of a dispositive summary judgment motion being granted differ for individual calendaring cases versus cases where each motion is heard by a judge at random.

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