Sunday, November 18, 2007
Federal Judicial Center: Plaintiffs Doing Relatively Well in Federal Employment Discrimination Cases
Paul Mollica of Daily Developments in EEO Law reports on recent findings from a study on summary judgment practices by the Federal Judicial Center which leads him to conclude:
[I]t appears that far more federal employment discrimination cases are ending on favorable terms (either settlement or avoiding summary judgment) than the anecdotal evidence first suggests.
Paul comes to this conclusion after noting that the FJC study (Table 6) shows:
that 35% of employment discrimination cases culminate in a summary judgment motion. Table 12 reports the bottom-line figure that 9 to 14% of the employment discrimination cases (depending on the district studied) were actually terminated on summary judgment. (One way to square the numbers is that in many instances, the defendant succeeds on dismissing some counts but not others; multiple counts often seek the same relief.).
As Paul emphasizes in his post, "these percentages are based not on all cases filed, but only those that were subject to some kind of dispositve motion." But nevertheless, the relative lack of success of terminating employment discrimination cases through summary judgment motions is still a real surprise to me.
You can find a link to the Federal Judicial Center study here. This report was undertaken to determine whether Rule 56 should be amended to create a uniform practice of compelling parties to file statements of uncontested facts.