Over the last two weeks, we’ve reviewed Justice Freeman’s question patterns in civil and criminal cases. This week, we’ll be reviewing Justice Kilbride’s patterns with his questioning in civil cases.
Justice Kilbride has heard oral argument in 127 cases where he voted with the majority in an affirmance. He wrote the majority opinion in eight of those cases, but no concurrences. Overall in affirmances, he averaged 1.32 questions of appellants to 0.84 questions to appellees. Writing the majority opinion had no effect whatever on Justice Kilbride’s questioning. When writing the majority, he averaged 0.62 questions to appellants and 0.69 to appellees. When Justice Kilbride wasn’t writing an opinion, he averaged 1.43 questions to appellants and only 0.87 to appellees.
Justice Kilbride has participated in 144 cases where he joined in a reversal, writing a majority opinion in 16 of those cases and a concurrence in two. In cases where Justice Kilbride has joined a reversal, he asked an average of 1.33 questions to appellants and 1.38 questions to appellees. Writing the majority opinion has had some effect – he has averaged 1.75 questions to appellants and 3.88 to appellees. Justice Freeman hasn’t had any cases where he joined a concurrence. In reversals where he hasn’t written an opinion, Justice Kilbride has averaged 1.3 questions to appellants and 1.08 questions to appellees.
In Table 478, we report the data on Justice Kilbride’s question patterns in civil cases where he wound up voting in the minority. In cases where Justice Kilbride voted in the minority of an affirmance, he averaged 1.27 questions to appellants and 1.07 to appellees, averaging more questions to the party who lost the case rather than the party who lost his vote. When Justice Kilbride wrote a dissent, he averaged fewer questions to both sides – one question to appellants, 0.44 questions to appellees. When not writing an opinion, he averages 1.67 questions to appellants and two questions to appellees.
When Justice Kilbride is in the minority of a reversal, he once again averages more questions to the appellant than to the appellee. He averages 1.41 questions to appellants and 0.73 questions to appellees. Writing a dissent has a significant impact – he averages 1.73 questions to appellants, 1.07 to appellees. When he’s not writing an opinion, he averages 0.71 questions to appellants and 0 to appellees.
Join us back here tomorrow as we review Justice Kilbride’s history as the first questioner in civil cases.