Fantasy League Update

The supreme court did not file any decisions this week–hence, no change in the standings.

Text Mining at the Wisconsin Supreme Court: Majority Opinions

Specialized computer programs can inspect large document collections for information that researchers would have difficulty detecting unaided. One such tool is Linguistic Inquiry Word Count software (LIWC), devised to study “the various emotional, cognitive, and structural components present in individual’s verbal and written speech samples.”[1] A number of journal articles have employed LIWC to scrutinize United States Supreme Court opinions,[2] and I thought that it might be worthwhile to see what this text-mining equipment could unearth when applied to opinions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.[Continue Reading…]

Fantasy League Update

The lone decision filed this week did not result in any points for Fantasy League teams–hence, no change in the 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.

Fantasy League Update

This week, the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office padded their lead with five points from a brief and oral argument in State v. Fugere.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Judges Neubauer and Hagedorn: A Look at Their Voting Records

Next week, a small percentage of Wisconsin’s eligible voters will choose Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s successor on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. As it happens, the two contenders for her seat—Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer—are not only both judges on the court of appeals, they have sat in the same district ever since Hagedorn’s appointment to the court by Governor Scott Walker in 2015. During this period, they have decided hundreds of cases together, thereby furnishing us an opportunity to assess a substantial voting record.[Continue Reading…]

Fantasy League Update

The four decisions filed this week boosted the standing of three teams. With 8 points from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren (for a brief and a favorable decision, but no oral argument, in Kieninger v. Crown Equipment), the Waivers gained the most ground, followed by the Affirmed (5 points from Lindner & Marsack for a brief and oral argument in Milwaukee District Council 48 v. Milwaukee County) and the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office (5 points for a brief and oral argument in State v. Keister). Consequently, the Gavels edged ahead of the Citations back into first place, while both the Waivers and the Affirmed crept closer to the third-place Writs.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Fantasy League Update

Both decisions filed this week affected the standings. The Citations gained 10 points from O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing (a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in The Peter Ogden Family Trust of 2008 v. Board of Review for the Town of Delafield), while the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office added 5 points for a brief and oral argument in State v. Friedlander. As a result, the Citations soared from third place into first, while the Gavels moved ahead of the Writs into second.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

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.