Justices Rebecca Bradley, Daniel Kelly, and their Predecessors: Some Perspectives After the 2017-18 Term

Enough time has elapsed following the arrival of Justices Rebecca Bradley (3 terms) and Daniel Kelly (2 terms) to form rather clear impressions of their voting records compared to those of the justices whom they replaced (Crooks and Prosser, respectively). This could be done by assessing the four justices’ positions on various issues (Fourth Amendment defenses, med-mal cases, and so on), and we may return to such an approach down the road. Today, however, we’ll look more generally at how these justices voted in relation to their other colleagues over the period beginning in September 2008—at which point the court’s membership remained unchanged until Justice Bradley succeeded Justice Crooks in 2015.[Continue Reading…]

Fantasy League Update

A decision filed by the supreme court this week brought five points to the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office (for a brief and oral argument in State v. A. L.), slipping them past the Citations and into a first-place tie with the Affirmed.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Fantasy League Update

The single decision filed by the court this past week brought a point to the Citations—contributed by Godfrey & Kahn with an amicus brief in West Bend Mutual Ins. Co. v. Ixthus Medical Supply, Inc. This moved the Citations to within three points of the league-leading Writs, and also nudged them two points above the Gavels, who remain in third place.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Crowd-Source Reminder

This is a monthly reminder to readers to “nominate” Wisconsin Supreme Court cases from the 2018-19 term that contain surprising aspects.  As I did last year, I will maintain a collection of cases and comments submitted and post them at the end of the summer. (Click here to see the results for 2017-18.)

“Surprising aspects” could include (1) decisions featuring odd combinations of justices dissenting or in the majority; (2) arguments in a majority or separate opinion that one might not expect from the author in question; (3) an unusual source in a footnote; (4) a popular-culture reference out of the blue; (5) a humorous passage; (6) a case in which a husband and wife delivered oral arguments on opposing sides; (7) something else unusual about the law firms involved—in short, pretty much anything unexpected.

Please email me your nominations (alan.ball@marquette.edu), as many as you wish, confident in the assurance that I will not reveal the names of nominators or their firms when I display our harvest at the end of the summer.  Please also include a brief explanation (just a sentence or two would likely be sufficient) indicating the case’s curious feature.  I hope that we can gather enough to yield an interesting array.

An Oral Argument Count: The Top 25 Law Firms

A recent post tallying the number of oral arguments delivered by individual attorneys prompted a reader to suggest a companion post identifying the firms whose lawyers have argued most often before the supreme court. With this assignment in hand, we’ll focus on private firms and non-profit organizations (thereby excluding the Department of Justice and the State Public Defender’s Office, by far the most frequent participants in oral arguments), and we’ll cover the same period as the earlier post—the ten terms from September 1, 2008, through August 31, 2018.[1]

Godfrey & Kahn holds the top spot, followed closely by Quarles & Brady, in the list of firms responsible for six or more oral arguments during the past ten terms.[2] Table 1 displays all 25 firms which made the cut,[3] and while the presence of many prominent names occasions no astonishment, readers may be surprised at the rankings (or perhaps the absence) of certain firms.[4]  [Continue Reading…]

Fantasy League Update

The two decisions filed during the past week did not yield any points for Fantasy League teams–hence, no change in the standings.

Fantasy League Update

The Supreme Court did not file any decisions during the past week–hence, no change in the Fantasy League standings.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1976-1977

These tables are derived from information contained in 283 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Lexis search for decisions filed between September 1, 1976, and August 31, 1977.  The total of 283 decisions does not include rulings arising from (1) disciplinary matters involving lawyers and judges, and (2) various motions and petitions. Among the omitted items is State ex rel. Amek Bin Rilla v. Circuit Court for Dodge County (no case number), which yielded a per curiam decision denying a petition for mandamus.

The tables are available as a complete set and by individual topic in 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

Fantasy League Update

Last week’s supreme court decisions brought points to every team in the league—except for the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office, which cost them their position at the top of the standings.  Indeed, two teams overtook the Gavels, who, as three-time defending champions, have not been accustomed to gazing up from the vantage point of third place.

On the strength of 10 points from Michael Best & Friedrich (for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in Koss Corporation v. Park Bank), the Writs vaulted into first place. However, the Citations made the biggest jump—from last place into second—powered by O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing (10 points for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in Koss Corporation) and Piper, Schmidt & Wirth (5 points for a brief and oral argument in Stuart White v. City of Watertown).[Continue Reading…]

Crowd Sourcing–Round 2

This is an invitation to readers to “nominate” Wisconsin Supreme Court cases from the 2018-19 term that contain surprising aspects.  As I did last year, I will maintain a collection of cases and comments submitted and post them at the end of the summer. (Click here to see the results for 2017-18.)

“Surprising aspects” could include (1) decisions featuring odd combinations of justices dissenting or in the majority; (2) arguments in a majority or separate opinion that one might not expect from the author in question; (3) an unusual source in a footnote; (4) a popular-culture reference out of the blue; (5) a humorous passage; (6) a case in which a husband and wife delivered oral arguments on opposing sides; (7) something else unusual about the law firms involved—in short, pretty much anything unexpected.

Please email me your nominations (alan.ball@marquette.edu), as many as you wish, confident in the assurance that I will not reveal the names of nominators or their firms when I display our harvest at the end of the summer.  Please also include a brief explanation (just a sentence or two would likely be sufficient) indicating the case’s curious feature.  I hope that we can gather enough to yield an interesting array.