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The Fresno Bee
July 30, 2015

Senior judges play bigger federal courts role, report shows
By John Ellis

A new national study has confirmed what many in Fresno’s federal courthouse already know — judges who retire but continue to work are an integral part of the legal system. Nationally, these “senior” judges handled almost a quarter of the civil and criminal cases that were wrapped up last year in the nation’s federal courts, according to the study by Syracuse University’s Transactional Record Access Clearinghouse. In addition, the workload carried by these judges has almost doubled in the past two decades. In California’s eastern federal judicial district — which includes courthouses in Fresno and Sacramento — the numbers were even higher. Senior judges here closed out almost 34% of cases in 2014. According to TRAC data, active Eastern District judges adjudicated 2,836 cases last year, while senior judges handled 1,446. Nationally, the reason is simple, TRAC researchers say: Court cases are growing, but Congress has failed to add additional judge positions. Lawmakers are also slow to fill open positions.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
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