July 13, 2007
How Specialized Are Our Specialized Courts?
Posted by David Zaring

Just what proportion of the cases in the Delaware Chancery and D C Circuit play to the strengths of those expert judges in corporate and administrative law?  I've heard law clerks on both courts express some wonder at how many will disputes or sentencing guidelines reviews find their way onto the dockets of the specialist courts.

It called for a laughably informal empirical study - the kind one can do over the lunch hour, and I was eating quickly. 

In 2006, the five judges on the Chancery court issued 207 opinions or orders picked up by Westlaw - of those, only 29 were adjudged by West to be related to corporate law.  It's about the same for the D C Circuit.  Of the 541 decisions or orders issued by the court in 2006, only 53 cited to the Administrative Procedure Act.

Perhaps, then, it would be best to call our specialized courts 10 to 15% specialized.  UPDATE:  Or 60 to 70 percent specialized, if you're in Delaware.  See the comments.

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