From Issue Spot - The Human Element: Challenges of Quantifying Judicial Productivity

Advanced performance metrics have made their way from academia to the mainstream, and are now used constantly in measuring everything from business productivity to athletic performance.  But this single-minded focus on “the numbers” may sometimes lead us astray.  On Friday, November 8th, the BBA’s Administration of Justice section co-sponsored the New England Law Review’s annual fall symposium entitled “Benchmarks: Evaluating Measurements of Judicial Productivity.”  The event was based around the work of Judge William Young of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and New England Law professor Jordan Singer, who theorized that “bench presence,” meaning the number of hours a trial judge spends adjudicating issues in the court room, is the most important statistic in measuring a trial court’s overall productivity (read their works here and here).  

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