In 1971, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger advocated the creation of a “central source for the state courts,” which led to the birth of the National Center for State Courts. The NCSC prides itself on “improving the administration through leadership and service to the state courts and serving as an information clearinghouse so that innovations in one court can benefit all courts.” The NCSC does this by conducting research, publishing reports and hosting educational programs about court operations.
The center’s day-to-day operations include collecting and interpreting the latest data on the operations of state courts as well as providing information to state court leaders on issues of national policy. The website’s resources include the work of the Court Statistics Project, which produces annual analyses of trial and appellate courts, short reports on specific issues, diagrams of each state’s judicial structure, and detailed statistics on court systems and caseloads. Visitors to the site can search a database for information by state, type of filings (civil, felony or domestic relations) and population (such as adult or juvenile cases). NCSC also publishes books on court trends and one on judicial salaries, and it maintains a Mass Tort Clearinghouse that contains reports and state resources on the subject and serves as a forum for mass tort judges.
The site also includes information on NCSC’s special projects to help courts improve in areas such as management of juries and the protection of children in foster care. Visitors can search the NCSC library catalog to find resources on judicial administration or browse the Topics A-Z section for information on specific issues, such as civil litigation, federal relations and sentencing. The NCSC is funded by contributions from individuals; law firms; and corporations and foundations, such as Ford Motor Co., General Electric, Pfizer, Sara Lee Corp., Shell Oil Co. and Wal-Mart.
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