Here's a the 9th Circuit's holiday gift to the appellate world: rather than waiting until the next day after oral argument in the 9th Circuit to listen to the audio recording posted on the court's website, we can all listen live. Details here.
Also on the federal front, click here for Chief Justice Roberts' 2013 Year-End Report on the state of the federal judiciary (Recorder article here), which notes:
"Both A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life have happy endings. We are encouraged that the story of funding for the Federal Judiciary—though perhaps not as gripping a tale—will too."
"The Federal Courts of Appeals
After rising four percent in 2012, filings in the regional courts of appeals dropped two percent to 56,475 in 2013. Appeals involving pro se litigants, which amounted to 51 percent of filings, fell one percent. Criminal appeals decreased 13 percent. Slight reductions occurred in appeals of administrative agency decisions and civil appeals. Original proceedings grew 20 percent, and bankruptcy appeals grew 12 percent."