A Look at Civil Filing Statistics

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This post is a follow up on a 2014 post about civil filings in Mississippi. Cliff Johnson, the Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at Ole Miss Law School provided me with these updated statistics: Civil Cases filed 2001 – July 2018 .
Another helpful document for analyzing filings is the Mississippi Supreme Court’s Annual Report. Here is the 2017 Report. Reports dating to 1998 are on the Court’s website.
This page from the 2017 Annual Report breaks down state court filings by year for 2010 – 2017: State trial court filings and dispositions. Interesting stats for these years:

Chancery Court filings down from 88,424 to 59,221
Chancery Court disposed cases down from 64,994 to 56,079
Circuit Court civil filings down from 25,800 to 19,328
Circuit Court civil disposed cases down from 22,249 to 15,557

The drop in Circuit Court filings ended in 2013. Filings were fairly flat from 2013 through 2017.
In the federal courts, personal injury case filings for the 2010’s decade are consistently lower than in the 2000’s.
But in state’s of similar size, federal court filings are higher than in Arkansas, Kansas, Utah and New Mexico and lower than Nevada.
None of those states has seen the drop in filings experienced by Mississippi.
My Take:
These stats should help civil litigation attorneys analyze their career plans. If your practice is working, there is less to fear about it drying up than in prior years when filings were dropping.
If your practice is not working, you are going to have to cut into someone else’s business or find another job.
If you are thinking about starting a practice, you need to plan how you will get cases and realize industry growth will not be a tailwind. Competition for work is fierce.

Read Mississippi Litigation Review