The Eastern District of Virginia has been the fastest federal district court in the country for the last 50 years. Before March 2020, the median time to trial for civil cases in the EDVA was a full year faster than the national median. The pandemic, however, slowed the pace of civil cases in the EDVA considerably, with the district falling to 10th fastest among the 94 federal district courts.
In an article found here, Robert Angle and I look at the reasons behind the EDVA’s pandemic slowdown, and the prospects for it to return to its traditional speedy pace as the court returns to operations that more closely resemble pre-pandemic practices. Focusing on three factors unique to the EDVA – the culture of speed ingrained in the bench and the bar, the strict deadlines in the court’s Local Rules and pretrial orders, and the court’s swift procedures for handling pretrial motions – we predict that litigants should expect the EDVA to return to its place as the fastest federal court in the country for civil cases.