The 2019-20 Term: Some More Impressions

Armed with findings from the supreme court’s just-completed term, we can compare the justices’ activity in several areas with their corresponding performances during previous terms.  Last year, all these measures of the court’s work extended recent trends—but not one of them did so in 2019-20.[Continue Reading…]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 2019-20

These tables are derived from information contained in 45 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions filed between September 1, 2019, and the end of the court’s term in the summer of 2020.  The total of 45 decisions omits orders pertaining to various motions, petitions, and disciplinary matters, but it does include Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1 v. Robin Vos and Nancy Bartlett v. Tony Evers.  Given that these two decisions contain some odd features (to be discussed in a subsequent post), they will figure in only some of the following tables (as indicated by footnotes).

Waukesha County v. J.J.H. and State v. Kelly James Kloss were dismissed as improvidently granted and are not considered here.

The tables are available as a complete set and by individual topic according to the subsets listed below.

Four-to-Three Decisions
Decisions Arranged by Vote Split
Frequency of Justices in the Majority
Distribution of Opinion Authorship
Frequency of Agreement Between Pairs of Justices
Average Time Between Oral Argument and Opinions Authored by Each Justice
Number of Oral Arguments Presented by Individual Firms and Agencies



The Supreme Court’s 2019-20 Term: Some Initial Impressions

Now that the supreme court has filed its last substantive decision of the 2019-20 term, we can begin our customary series of posts on various aspects of the justices’ work over the past 12 months.  Along the way, we'll encounter some … [Continue reading]

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s harvest of decisions was unusually bountiful—especially for the Writs and the Waivers—and, as a result, the standings have tightened considerably.  The long-dormant Writs led the scoring, with 16 points from Pines Bach (for a brief, oral … [Continue reading]

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s decisions rewarded the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office with five points (for a brief and oral argument in State v. Courtney C. Brown) and the Citations with two points (for amicus briefs from Godfrey & Kahn in State v. … [Continue reading]

Where Have All the Precedents Gone–Published Opinions from the Court of Appeals

A few years ago, a post on the percentage of court of appeals opinions that were issued as per curiam decisions noted the enormous decrease in the total number of court of appeals opinions in recent decades. Today, we’ll return to the field to … [Continue reading]

Law Firm Fantasy League

The Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office may have built an insurmountable lead this week by picking up ten points (for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome) in State v. Alfonso Lorenzo Brooks. We’ll see if any of the other teams have … [Continue reading]

Law Firm Fantasy League

The two decisions filed this week did not deliver any points to league teams--hence, no change in the standings. … [Continue reading]

Original Actions and Judicial Activism

Many luminaries in the legal profession have remarked to the effect that “An activist court is one whose decisions you don’t like.”[1] Scholarly attempts to define judicial activism suggest a number of other factors to consider, and today I’d like to … [Continue reading]

Law Firm Fantasy League

One of the decisions filed this week (Milton Eugene Warren v. Michael Meisner) rewarded the league’s top two teams. Retaining their lead, the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office picked up two points for an amicus brief and an oral argument, … [Continue reading]