The Future: Scrutinizing the Empirical Case for the Court of Federal Claims

86 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2002

See all articles by Steven L. Schooner

Steven L. Schooner

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: November 21, 2002


The 20th anniversary of the Federal Courts Improvement Act (FCIA) presents an opportunity to reflect upon the unique role of the United States Court of Federal Claims (COFC). The COFC has evolved into a jurisdictional catch-all, rather than a forum that serves a needed purpose. Although public contracts dominate the Court of Federal Claims' docket, the Court plays only a minor role in the field, and mere election of fora does not justify the Court's participation. Hence, this paper offers three reasons to challenge the viability of the Court's current mandate: (1) the Court is not a specialized court; (2) dispersal of the Court's docket would not unduly burden any receiving fora; and (3) because most of the Court's jurisdiction is concurrent and because (empirically) the Court is not the forum of choice, the benefits of forum election are illusory. Ultimately, the paper makes the empirical case that eliminating the Court could enhance efficiency and consistency, while reducing confusion in law and practice.

JEL Classification: H59, K12, K23, K34, K41

Suggested Citation

Schooner, Steven L., The Future: Scrutinizing the Empirical Case for the Court of Federal Claims (November 21, 2002). GWU Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 50, Available at SSRN: or

Steven L. Schooner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

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