Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1984-1985

These tables are derived from information contained in 83 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Lexis search for decisions filed between September 1, 1984, and August 31, 1985.  The total of 83 decisions does not include rulings arising from (1) disciplinary proceedings against lawyers and judges, and (2) various motions and petitions.

In addition to the 83 cases mentioned above, there was also a 4-3 per curiam decision (State v. Gustafson).  It is included only in the opinion authorship table (because Justice Abrahamson wrote a dissent) and in the oral argument table.

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 2016-17 Term: Some More Impressions

Last August, a SCOWstats post examined three aspects of the just-completed 2015-16 term: (1) the number of concurrences and dissents per decision, (2) the number of days between oral argument and decision filing, and (3) the number of pages per decision.  In all three instances the post reported a sizeable increase over the numbers from 2014-15, and today we return to these topics to determine how 2016-17 measures up against 2015-16.[Continue Reading…]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 2016-2017

These tables are derived from information contained in 50 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions filed between September 1, 2016, and the end of the court’s term in July, 2017.[1]  The total of 50 decisions does not include the following items contained in the Supreme Court’s listing of opinions and dispositional orders for this period: (1) decisions arising from bar-admission issues and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers; and (2) orders pertaining to various motions and petitions.

Maya Elaine Smith v. Jeff Anderson, which resulted in a 3-2 per curiam decision that review had been improvidently granted, is not included.

Sometimes the Court’s listing of opinions and dispositional orders contains separate entries for individual cases that were consolidated and resolved by a single decision.  If two or more cases were consolidated in this manner, the decision is counted only once for the purposes of the following tables. 

In addition to the 50 decisions noted above, a deadlocked (3-3) per curiam decision was filed in Scott Smith v. Greg Kleynerman.  This is included only in the “Number of Oral Arguments Presented” table. 

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

 

[1] According to the Clerk’s office, no additional substantive decisions will be filed after July 7.  The decisions may be found on the Wisconsin Court System website.

Fantasy League Salutes its Stars

Now that the raucous merriment has subsided following last weekend’s Second Annual Awards Banquet, it’s time to post the season’s final reckoning—and summarize the evening’s highlights for those unable to attend the gala.  For the second year in a row, the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy as league champions, and attorney Kaitlin Lamb was honored as the league’s MVP.  This award is only bestowed in years when an individual clearly stands out among the members of a victorious team—as did attorney Lamb, who delivered three oral arguments and contributed 20 points to the Gavels.  No other member of the Gavels argued more than one case, except for Joe Ehmann, who had two oral arguments in connection with amicus briefs (for a total of four points).

Several individual firms on other teams also turned in impressive performances, as displayed in the following table.  For the second year in a row the Affirmed finished in second place, and this year their total of 65 points more than doubled the scores of any of the other three teams.  Axley Brynelson and Foley & Lardner each garnered 15 points for the Affirmed—nearly half the team’s total, though all but one of the team’s other members also contributed at least five points. 

Firms that delivered nothing to their teams, especially if they were also dormant during the 2015-16 season, will face scrutiny by the Selection Committee during its winter meeting.  Some may be relegated to the Developmental League in order to clear roster spots for firms that have been active recently in the Supreme Court, thereby earning call-ups for the 2017-18 season.

Fantasy League Update–and Conclusion

With the release of the Supreme Court’s last substantive decisions of the term, we’ve reached the final reckoning of the 2016-17 fantasy-league season.  The Affirmed picked up 10 points from this concluding batch of rulings—5 points from Kasdorf Lewis & Swietlik and 5 points from Axley Brynelson (for their briefs and oral arguments in Milewski v. Town of Dover)—bringing the Affirmed’s total for the season to 65. 

This is 20 points more than was required to win the league title a year ago and underscores the potency of the roster fielded by the Affirmed in 2016-17.  For over three months, deep into April, they remained atop the standings.  However, the Gavels of the Public Defender’s Office began chipping away at their lead and finally nosed ahead of the Affirmed as the calendar turned to May.  Throughout the next several weeks, the lead changed hands repeatedly between these two rivals before the Gavels dropped the hammer (as they like to say) in mid-June.  During a single week they collected a stunning 32 points and never looked back as they coasted to the wire.  The 6 points that they added from the July decisions (5 points for a brief and oral argument in State v. Asboth and 1 point for an amicus brief in State v. Floyd) pushed their season’s total to 82—far more than needed to defend their title.

Final standings

The Supreme Court’s 2016-17 Term: Some Initial Impressions

On July 7, the Supreme Court filed its final three substantive decisions of the term, thereby allowing us to move from speculation to more precise observations about the justices’ activities in areas that we have been tracking.[Continue Reading…]

Fantasy League Update

This week’s supreme court filings brought joy to neither the league-leading Gavels nor the cellar-dwelling Citations, but the other three teams all scored.  Near the top of the standings, the Affirmed cut into the Gavels’ substantial lead with 5 points from Stafford Rosenbaum (brief and oral argument in The Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corporation v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.) and 2 points from Gass Weber Mullins (amicus brief and oral argument in the same case).

The Writs gained 1 point from Michael Best & Friedrich (amicus brief in John Krueger v. Appleton Area School District Board of Education) and remained in third place, but the Waivers closed to within 9 points of them, thanks to 5 points from von Briesen & Roper (brief and oral argument in Krueger) and 1 point from Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown (amicus brief in Ambac Assurance).

current standings

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1985-1986

These tables are derived from information contained in 71 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Lexis search for decisions filed between September 1, 1985, and August 31, 1986.  The total of 71 decisions does not include rulings arising from (1) disciplinary proceedings against lawyers, (2) various motions and petitions, and (3) a 3-3 per curiam decision (Local 257 of Hotel & Restaurant Employees & Bartenders International Union v. Wilson Street East Dinner Playhouse, Inc.).

It was difficult to decide whether to include the following “cases”: (1) In re Amendment of Rules of Civil & Criminal Procedure: Sections 971.07 & 971.08, Stats., (2) In re Creation of SCR Chptr. 13, and (3) In re Amendment of State Bar Rules.  They did not involve oral argument, and no lawyers are listed on the introductory pages.  I decided to include In re Amendment of Rules of Civil & Criminal Procedure, which yielded a per curiam decision with dissents by Justices Bablitch and Abrahamson (though the case will not figure in tables pertaining to oral arguments and majority-opinion authorship).  I have not included the other two “cases,” because they were resolved with “orders,” which bore less of a resemblance to the format of a normal decision.

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

 

Fantasy League Update

During the past week, the court filed half a dozen decisions that brought points to four of the league’s five contenders—and with the Commissioner’s Office staffers now back from their team-building retreat, we can update the standings.  Only the Citations failed to score, and, as a result, they found themselves overtaken by the long-dormant Waivers, while slipping farther behind the Writs, who tightened their grip on third place.

More specifically, the Waivers gained 10 points from Reinhart, Boerner, Van Dueren (brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in Margaret Pulera v. Town of Richmond) and 5 points from Boardman & Clark (brief and oral argument in Thomas F. Benson v. City of Madison).  The Writs added 10 points from Hurley, Burish & Stanton (brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in The Honorable William M. Gabler, Sr. v. Crime Victims Rights Board) and 1 point from Legal Action of Wisconsin (an amicus brief in State v. Lazaro Ozuna).

Meanwhile, the Affirmed picked up 8 points from Axley Brynelson (brief and a favorable outcome in The Honorable William M. Gabler, Sr. v. Crime Victims Rights Board), but they could not keep pace with the rampaging Gavels of the Public Defender’s Office who added 20 points to their league-leading total: 5 points for a brief and oral argument in State v. Heather L. Steinhardt; 10 points for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in State v. Keimonte Antonie Wilson, Sr.; and 5 points for a brief and oral argument in State v. Lazaro Ozuna.

current standings

Fantasy League Update

With 12 points from State v. Zimbal (brief, oral argument, successful outcome, as well as an amicus brief and oral argument), the Gavels of the Public Defender’s Office extended their lead over the second-place Affirmed.

current standings