Mississippi Bar Labor and Employment Section Chair Nick Norris recently provided me with the section’s research regarding labor and employment filings in federal court for 2005 – 2014. Here it is:
With the exception of a bump during 2009-2010, Northern District filings have remained constant at about 100 per year. Southern District filings are over 150 per year and exceed 200 many years.
Southern District judges granted dispositive motions in 87% of the cases. Their Northern District counterpart granted summary judgment in 71% of the cases.
It’s my impression–and I could be wrong–that there are more pro se filings in employment cases than other areas. Under those circumstances, you would expect a high percentage of dispositive motions to be granted. This is despite the fact that I have heard multiple stories about federal court judges bending over backwards to hold pro se litigants’ hands through the litigation process.
In general, pro se litigants either can’t find a lawyer because they don’t have a viable case and/or don’t know how to plead and prove their case.
The good news for labor and employment defense lawyers is that filings are steady in the Northern District and on the rise in the Southern District. There are not many civil litigation practice areas that can say this.
The report also contains statistics on how often particular federal court judges grant dispositive motions. I question whether the sample size is large enough to provide meaningful data in this area. As the report notes, the judges have not had the same number of cases and every case is factually different.
In any event, this is great information for labor and employment lawyers and useful to all civil litigation attorneys.