Judicial Performance

Empirical Measures of Judicial Performance:

A Florida State University Law Review Symposium Issue

The availability of data on the judiciary presents a fertile opportunity for the empirical study of judges and courts. In the political realm, claims of merit are regularly made in the process of vetting judicial appointments, but these claims are rarely evaluated against the empirical evidence. One of the more provocative studies of the topic, by Professors Stephen J. Choi and Mitu Gulati, argues that the availability of data and techniques for study of judges should give rise to a tournament of judges, in which promotions to the U.S. Supreme Court consider quantitative measures, as well as qualitative claims, of merit.1 Inspired by efforts such as Choi and Gulati's, the editors of Florida State University Law Review will devote an entire issue of an upcoming volume to essays and articles that address the topic of empirical measures of judicial performance.

Papers published in the symposium issue are expected to address the following questions:

-Is it appropriate to measure and rank judicial performance?

-How should one do these measurements?

-What would be the incentive effects of doing this?

Contributions are expected to be in the range of 30 double-spaced pages. Papers should be received by September 1, 2004. It is expected that this symposium issue will be published in Spring 2005.

Contributors:

Mita Bhattacharya & Russell Smyth, Monash University Department of Economics

James J. Brudney, Ohio State University College of Law

The Honorable Jay Bybee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Stephen Choi & Mitu Gulati, Boalt Hall School of Law -- UC Berkeley & Georgetown University Law Center

Brannon Denning, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law

Lee Epstein & Nancy Staudt, Washington University-St. Louis School of Law

Daniel Farber, Boalt Hall School of Law -- UC Berkeley

Tracey George, Northwestern University School of Law

Michael Gerhardt, William & Mary School of Law

Steven Gey, Florida State University College of Law

Steven Goldberg, Georgetown University Law Center

John V. Orth, University of North Carolina School of Law

The Honorable Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

B.J. Priester, Florida State University College of Law

Jim Rossi, Florida State University College of Law

The Honorable Bruce Selya, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Michael Solimine, University of Cinncinatti School of Law

Lawrence Solum, University of San Diego School of Law

Ahmed Taha, Wake Forest University School of Law

David Vladeck, Georgetown University Law Center

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1     Choi and Gulati raise the issue in their article A Tournament of Judges?, forthcoming in CALIFORNIA Law Review (Jan. 2004). In a more recent article, Choi and Gulati present the empirical results of their tournament for federal appellate judges. For an earlier empirical study focusing on citation of federal appellate judges, see William M. Landes, Lawrence Lessig & Michael E. Solimine, Judicial Influence: A Citation Study of Federal Courts of Appeals Judges, 27 JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES 271 (1998).