An Update on Fourth-Amendment Cases: 2017-18 and 2018-19

Two terms have passed since our last Fourth-Amendment update, and significant developments have transpired in the interim. For one thing, Justices Rebecca Bradley and Daniel Kelly have now been on the court long enough (four terms and three terms, respectively) to yield a substantial quantity of votes on Fourth-Amendment cases. We have also gotten our first glimpse of Justice Rebecca Dallet’s stance, though only general and preliminary conclusions are possible so early in her tenure. Other topics beckon as well, and we’ll begin with an overview of the number of Fourth-Amendment cases decided each term.[Continue Reading…]

Gavels Win! Again

As June turned to July and the fantasy league approached season’s end, it became clear that only a heroic effort on the part of another contender could overtake the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office. No such rally occurred, however, and the Gavels coasted to their fourth consecutive championship. In recent years, the league office has bolstered other teams’ rosters, hoping to make them more competitive, but, so far, none has been able to keep pace with the Gavels. No doubt the issue of competitive balance will be on the Competition Committee’s agenda at its winter meeting, and rosters may be augmented again before the start of the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, at last week’s awards banquet, the league honored the Gavels and Colleen Ball, who accounted for more than a quarter of the team’s points. Tribute was also paid to O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing, whose contribution of 30 points (remarkable for an individual firm) represented over half the total for their team, the Citations.   For the Writs, Habush, Habush & Rottier led the way with 17 points; Stafford Rosenbaum topped the scoring for the Affirmed with 13, and Boardman & Clark paced the Waivers with 12.

See the following table for the final totals of each team and every individual law firm.[Continue Reading…]

The 2018-19 Term: Some More Impressions–and a Paradox

Using data from the just-completed 2018-19 term, we can update the findings for a number of significant topics that SCOWstats has been following for several years. There is much here to suggest greater efficiency at the supreme court in 2018-19—which, one could predict, would allow the justices to handle more cases than they did the previous term.[Continue Reading…]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 2018-19

These tables are derived from information contained in 58 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions filed between September 1, 2018, and the end of the court’s term in the summer of 2019. The total of 58 decisions omits orders pertaining to various motions, petitions, and disciplinary matters, but it does include three deadlocked (3-3) per curiam decisions. As the court no longer indicates how each justice voted in these deadlocked cases, they are included only in the “Number of Oral Arguments Presented” table.[Continue Reading…]

The Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term: Some Initial Impressions

With the last substantive decisions now filed for the 2018-19 term, we can begin a series of posts that examine various aspects of the justices’ labors over the past 12 months.[Continue Reading…]

Fantasy League Update

This week’s decisions delivered five points to the Citations for a brief and oral argument by Tracey Wood & Associates in State v. Jessica M. Randall, thereby moving the Citations into a tie with the Writs for second place.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Fantasy League Update

For months, fans of the Writs have been waiting for the preseason acquisition of the Wisconsin Institute For Law & Liberty (WILL) to justify the steep price (two law firms from the team’s 2017-18 roster), and this week that trade finally bore fruit. The Writs jumped all the way into second place with 16 points from Kristi Koschkee v. Carolyn Stanford Taylor  (10 points from WILL for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome; and six points from Pines Bach for a brief and oral argument, and an amicus brief).

The Affirmed was the only other team to join the scoring, with a point from Stafford Rosenbaum for an amicus oral argument in the same case.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1974-75

These tables are derived from information contained in 304 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Nexis Uni search for decisions filed between September 1, 1974, and August 31, 1975.  The total of 304 decisions does not include rulings arising from (1) disciplinary matters involving lawyers and judges, and (2) short orders, with no author identified, pertaining to petitions, motions, and various other actions.  

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

Three teams made gains this week, led by the Waivers (10 points from Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in Rural Mutual Insurance Company v. Lester Buildings, LLC and one point from Boardman & Clark for an amicus brief in League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Tony Evers). With this haul, the Waivers moved ahead of the idle Citations into second place.

Meanwhile, the Writs tallied five points (from Pines Bach for a brief and oral argument in League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Tony Evers), as did the Affirmed (from Stafford Rosenbaum, also for a brief and oral argument in League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Tony Evers).

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Fantasy League Update

With this week’s decisions from the supreme court, the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office stunned the rest of the league by adding 21 points to their total: six points for a brief, oral argument, and 3-3 decision in Raytrell K. Fitzgerald v. Circuit Court for Milwaukee County; ten points for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in State v. Raytrell K. Fitzgerald; and five points for a brief and oral argument in Waukesha County v. S.L.L.

However, I have been given to understand (unofficially) that there are not likely to be any more public-defender decisions this term, thereby providing the rest of the league an opportunity to reel the Gavels back in during the season’s closing weeks. One team to watch in this regard is the Waivers, who gained a point for an amicus brief by Quarles & Brady in State v. Raytrell K. Fitzgerald.

Click here for the updated, current standings.