The National Center for State Courts recently published the latest edition of its report “Examining the Work of State Courts: An Analysis of 2010 State Court Caseloads.”1
While the 50-page document contained a host of research into the make-up the various courts’ caseloads, because the focus of Bachus & Schanker is primarily on personal injury law, we were most interested in the composition of the incoming civil caseload in the 17 General Jurisdiction Courts, which include Colorado.
The composition of the Civil Caseload in these courts is made up of seven different types of cases.
One thing is instantly apparent from a review of the numbers: contract cases, which account for more than half of the courts’ cases, continue to dominate the general jurisdiction courts’ dockets. Another observation from looking at the data is that six of the 17 general jurisdiction courts do not handle any of their state’s small claims cases and six do not handle their state’s mental health cases.
In Colorado the percentage of disparity between tort cases (the type of case primarily brought by Bachus & Schanker) and contract cases is even greater than the average. In Colorado 77 percent of the court’s cases dealt with contracts while only four percent were torts.
1 LaFountain, R, R. Schauffler, S. Strickland and K. Holt, Examining the Work of State Courts: An Analysis of 2010 State Court Caseloads, National Center for State Courts, 2012.