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A three-dimensional (3-D) multiresolution time-domain (MRTD) analysis is presented based on a biorthogonal-wavelet expansion, with application to electromagnetic-scattering problems. We employ the Cohen-Daubechies-Feauveau (CDF) biorthogonal wavelet basis, characterized by the maximum number of vanishing moments for a given support. We utilize wavelets and scaling functions of compact support, yielding update equations involving a small number of proximate field components. A detailed analysis is presented on algorithm implementation, with example numerical results compared to data computed via the conventional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. It is demonstrated that for 3-D scattering problems the CDF-based MRTD often provides significant computational savings (in computer memory and run time) relative to FDTD, while retaining numerical accuracy.