Lex Machina Releases 2023 Employment Litigation Report

While general employment cases have stayed steady or decreased slightly in the last three years, certain subsets of cases, such as those involving accommodations or the FLSA, exhibited a recent spike in 2022

Menlo Park, CA — August 10, 2023 — Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, today releases its annual Employment Litigation Report. The report examines trends in employment litigation in federal district courts and appellate courts. Focusing on the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, it surveys emerging trends in case filings, venues, judges, law firms, parties, timing metrics, case resolutions, findings, and damages. The report often focuses on different sets of data, e.g., filtering cases in order to provide analytics on general employment cases, discrimination cases, accommodation cases, FMLA cases, FLSA cases, pro se cases, and federal appellate employment cases.

“The landscape of employment litigation has always been dynamic and intriguing, but especially so over the past few years,” said Gregory Brumfield, Lex Machina’s employment legal data expert and editor of the report. “Looking at the employment case filing trends and patterns over time, particularly after filtering to specific subsets of cases, reveals fascinating data-driven insights into the possible interplay between employment litigation and external events or circumstances.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • In 2022, 20,994 employment cases were litigated in federal district courts, an 18% decrease from the highest number of employment cases filed in any year over the past decade (25,674 cases filed in 2018), but generally on par with the number of employment cases filed in 2021.
  • In the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, the highest number of employment cases was filed in the Southern District of New York, while Judge Bernal from the Central District of California was the most active judge for employment cases.
  • In the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, Walmart Inc. was the most active defendant.
  • Morgan & Morgan was the most active counsel representing plaintiffs in employment cases in the three-year period from 2020 to 2022, while Littler Mendelson represented defendants in the highest number of employment cases over the same period of time.
  • For employment cases that were appealed to a federal appellate court and terminated from 2020 to 2022 with a decision on the merits of the appeal, 19% were ultimately reversed.
  • $1.2 billion in total damages were awarded as Approved Class Action Settlement damages from 2020 to 2022.

Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. The metrics in this report can help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to file a particular motion, or when to settle (and for how much). This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in court.

Register here for a copy of the report.

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. The company provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, law firms, parties, and other critical information across 20 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to anticipate the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina was named one of “Legal Tech’s Most Promising Solution Providers” (CIO Review Awards 2022), “Greater Bay Area Top Workplaces 2022” (The San Francisco Chronicle Top Workplaces in the Bay Area 2022), “Legal Tech Company of the Year 2021″ (CIO Review, 2021), “2021 Legal Technology Trailblazer” (National Law Journal Trailblazer Awards, 2021), Winner of the “Media Excellence” Award for Analytics/Big Data (13th Annual Media Excellence Award, 2021). Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com.

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