Last time, we reviewed the reversal rates at the Supreme Court in criminal cases for the Divisions of Chicago’s First District of the Appellate Court.  This time, we’re looking at the reversal rates across the rest of the state.

The Third District fared worst from 1990 to 2020, with a collective reversal rate of 64.18%.  The Fourth and Fifth Districts were almost tied – the 4th at 56.89% and the 5th, 56.25%.  The Second District fared best, with a reversal rate of 52.88%.

The distribution of cases across these Districts is interesting.  The Second District accounts for 208 criminal cases, while the Third District has produced 201.  The Fourth District has had 167 criminal cases reviewed in the past 31 years.  But the Fifth District has had only 80 cases reviewed by the Supreme Court.

Between 1990 and 1999, the Third District fared worst, with a reversal rate in criminal cases of 68.09%.  The Fourth District was right behind at 65.79%.  The Second District did fairly well at 53.16% and the Fifth District best of all, with a reversal rate of only 48.65%.

Between 2000 and 2009, the Third District once again led with a reversal rate of 61.84%.  The other Districts were tightly bunched – Fifth (54.17%), Fourth (53.09%) and Second (52.63%).

From 2010 to 2020, the Fifth District has led with a reversal rate in criminal cases of 73.68%.  The Third District was next with 64.10% of the criminal cases the Court reviewed reversed.  The Fourth was next at 56.25% and the Second had a reversal rate of 52.83%.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the reversal rate data.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by MBraun0223 (no changes).

 

This week, we’re reviewing the reversal rates for the Appellate Court in criminal cases since 1990.  First up, the six Divisions of Chicago’s First District of the Appellate Court.

Since 1990, Division One of the First has fared worst, with a reversal rate in criminal cases of 57.14%.  Division Three was next at 56.52%.  The reversal rate in Division Two was 56.25%.  Division Four’s reversal rate 1990-2020 was 55.56%.  The best two Divisions were Five, with a reversal rate of 50%, and Six, where 47.62% of criminal decisions were reversed.

Division Three was significantly more common on the Supreme Court’s docket than any other Division of the First District – 69 cases from 1990 to 2020.  The other Divisions were closely bunched: Division One, 49 cases; Division Two, 48; Division Four, 45 cases; Division Six, 42 cases and Division Five, 40 cases.

Between 1990 and 1999, Division Three fared the worst, with a reversal rate of 66.67%.  Division Six’s reversal rate was 58.33%, and Division Two was at an even 50%.  The other three Divisions were all below that: One (46.15%), Four (44.44%) and Five (43.75%).

Between 2000 and 2009, Division Five fared worst, with a reversal rate of 69.23%.  Division Four was next at 68.42%.  Division Three’s reversal fell slightly to 60.87%.  The reversal rate in Division Two was 58.33%.  The rate for Division One was 53.33%.  Division Six fared best, with a reversal rate of one-half.

Between 2010 and 2020, Division One has had a reversal rate of two-thirds.  Division Two was next at 61.11%.  The other four Divisions all fared unusually well: Division Four, 47.06%; Three, 44%; Six, 37.5% and Five, 36.36%.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the data for the rest of the state.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by 12019 (no changes).

Long-time readers may have noticed that a few things have changed around here in recent days.  And that brings us to our two exciting announcements.

First, I’ve moved my practice to the San Francisco office of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

I’ve known and respected Arnold & Porter for its brilliant lawyers and its long-term unwavering commitment to the rule of law since I started my career in Washington D.C. at Skadden Arps.  In the extraordinarily competitive D.C. bar, Arnold & Porter was regarded by everyone as representing the very best of our profession.   Today, the firm boasts great lawyers in a long list of different practice groups and most importantly (yes I’m biased) one of the preeminent appellate practice groups in the country.  The opportunity to join that practice group was an unmissable opportunity.

At Arnold & Porter, we are client-driven and industry-focused. Our lawyers practice in more than 40 areas across the litigation, regulatory and transactional spectrum to help clients with complex needs, stay ahead of the global market, anticipate opportunities, and address issues that impact the very value of their businesses. In particular, our top-ranked Appellate & Supreme Court group is well known for aggressively and successfully handling precedent-setting appeals. Our attorneys have won numerous landmark Supreme Court cases, most recently involving religious freedom, state sovereignty and tax fairness. We have also led high-stakes litigation in federal and state courts across the country, securing reversals of multimillion—and billion—dollar verdicts and precedent-setting victories that reshape the legal landscape. As a firm, our core values guide our approach to work, our clients and each other. We are committed to excellence in the practice of law; approaching our work with the highest standards of ethics and professionalism; respecting diversity and individuality among our colleagues; and maintaining our long-standing and deep commitment to public service and pro bono work.

With the switch to Arnold & Porter, we decided it was time for a thorough remodeling, both here and on the California Supreme Court Review.  First, the design of the blog has been completely reimagined to more closely match our Arnold & Porter sister blogs, BioSlice, QuiNotes and Enforcement Edge.  Our new design looks great no matter how our readers access it – desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.  Also, we’ve completely rebuilt and simplified the category and tag structure for the blog’s entire archive, making our past analytics analysis easier for readers to find.

And speaking of our posts archive . . .

I published my first blog post at a predecessor blog, Appellate Strategist, in March 2010.  The Illinois and California analytics blogs joined the fold in January 2015 and April 2016, respectively.  I wrote 617 posts on Appellate Strategist, 604 before today here, 470 on the California Supreme Court Review and 308 on my personal (non-legal) blog – which makes these exciting announcements a fitting subject for post number 2,000!

Image courtesy of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

Today, we’re discussing the civil reversal rates from 1990 to 2020 for the Districts of the Appellate Court outside of Chicago – Two, Three, Four and Five.

Not surprisingly to long-time readers of this blog, the Fifth District leads with a reversal rate in civil cases of 72.43%.  The other three districts are quite close – Third District, 57.14%, Fourth District, 55.36% and Second District, 54.25%.

The Second District was most common on the Court’s docket, with 212 cases.  The Court decided 185 cases from the Fifth District, 168 cases from the Fourth District and only 126 cases from the Third District.

Between 1990 and 1999, the Fifth District fared worst with a reversal rate of 75.58%.  The Third District was next at 63.64%.  The Fourth District was right behind at 62.86%.  The Second District did best, with a reversal rate of only 45.24%.

The Fifth District was once again at the top of the chart between 2000 and 2009, although things got a bit closer.  The Fifth’s reversal rate was 67.24%.  The Second District was net at 61.84%.  The Fourth District’s reversal rate was 54.39% and the Third’s reversal rate was 45%.

The reversal rate for the Fifth District between 2010 and 2020 was 73.17%.  The Third was next at 61.29%.  The reversal rate in the Second District was 57.69%, and the Fourth District was 43.9%.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by goomba478 (no changes).

 

This week, we’re returning to perhaps the most often-written-about statistics in judicial analytics: reversal rates.  First up, the Divisions of Chicago’s First District of the Appellate Court in civil cases.

The overall numbers for Divisions One through Six are reported in Table 1695.  All six Divisions are relatively close.  The highest reversal rate 1990-2020 was Division 2 at 61.18%.  Division Three’s civil decisions have been reversed 59.09% of the time.  Division Six’s reversal rate is 57.83%.  Division Five’s is 56.94%.  Division One is at 55.17%.  Division Four fared the best at 51.65%.

In the past thirty-one years, the most active Division was Three.  The Court has reviewed 110 civil cases from that Division.  Division Four is next at 91 cases.  Division One has had 87 cases reviewed, Division Two has had 85 and Division Six has had 83 reviewed.  Division Five is the most lightly reviewed court in civil cases – 72 decisions reviewed, 1990-2020.

Between 1990 and 1999, Division Five had the highest reversal rate – 60.87%.  Division Three had a reversal rate of 60.78%.  Sixty percent of Division Six’s cases were reversed.  Division Two was at 57.57%, Division One was at 51.72% and only 51.28% of Division Four’s cases were reversed.

Between 2000 and 2009, Division Four fared worst at 58.33%.  Division Three had a reversal rate of 54.55%.  Divisions Two and One were very close in reversal rate for the decade – 51.72% and 51.61%.  The reversal rate for Division Five was down to 50%.  Division Six fared best with a reversal rate of 45.83%.

Between 2010 and 2020, Division Two has fared worst, with a reversal rate in civil cases of 78.26%.  Three more Divisions in the First have had reversal rates over sixty percent: Six (65.52%), One (62.96%) and Three (61.54%).  Division Five’s reversal rate is 58.62%.  Only 46.43% of Division Four’s civil decisions have been reversed.

Next time, we’ll take a look at the civil numbers for the rest of the state.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by OpenClipArt-Vectors (no changes).

 

Last time, we showed that there is a mild relationship between the total time pending from the grant of the petition for leave to appeal until final decision by the Supreme Court and the ultimate case result in civil cases: more often than not, affirmances took longer.  Below, we’re reviewing the Court’s criminal cases.

In criminal cases, there is a quite strong relationship between lag time and case result, but the relationship goes in the opposite direction: in nine of the past ten years, criminal reversals have been pending longer than affirmances.

Once again, the differences were typically not trivial. In 2012, reversals averaged 454.02 days while affirmances came down in 393.2 days.  In 2013, the difference was even greater: 438.2 days for reversals, 367.09 for affirmances.  In 2015, reversals averaged 398.27 days and affirmances averaged 336.6.  In 2016, reversals averaged 439.82 days and affirmances were pending for 375.47 days.  In the years since, the margin has generally been a bit less, but reversals were still slower: 393.73 for reversals and 391.04 for affirmances in 2017; 394.78 days for reversals and 380.33 for affirmances in 2019; and 412.92 for reversals to 384.01 for affirmances in 2020.

Join us back here next week as we address a new issue.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by Day_Photo (no changes).

This week, we’re addressing a new issue: does the lag time from the grant of a party’s petition for leave to appeal to a final decision from the Supreme Court tell us anything about what the result is likely to be?  We begin with the civil docket for the years 2011 through 2020.

What we see in Table 1693 is that there does seem to be at least a mild relationship between lag time and result in civil cases (in the Table, “A” is affirmances, “R” is reversals, and “AR” is split results – affirmed in part, reversed in part).  For six of the past ten years, civil affirmances took longer to decide than civil reversals.  For the most part, the differences have not been minor.  In 2011, affirmances averaged 370.4 days, while reversals averaged 288.77 days.  In 2012, there was a month and a half difference – affirmances 390.5 days, reversals 343.45.  In 2013, the difference was even bigger – 344.83 days for affirmances, 277.55 days for reversals.  After three years where the relationship between lag time and result was weaker, the gap lengthened again in 2017 – 338.03 for affirmances, 299.5 for reversals.  Reversals have been quicker in 2018 and 2020, but in 2019, affirmances averaged 352.3 days, while reversals averaged 295.96 days.

Join us back here next time as we review the criminal docket.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by 350543 (no changes).

Now we turn our attention to the criminal docket.  First, we review the data for complete reversal – divided decisions from the Court of Appeal versus unanimous decisions.  In six of the past thirty-one years, the reversal rate for unanimous Court of Appeal decisions has exceeded that for divided ones.  The rest of the time, divided decisions are more likely to be reversed, although we should note that the numbers are frequently fairly close.

Next we turn to our combined figure – the percentage reversed outright plus the share reversed in part.  The share is about the same: in six of the past thirty-one years, the share of unanimous decisions not affirmed is higher than the percentage of divided decisions disturbed on appeal.  Unanimous decisions have been more likely to be reversed, at least in part, in each of the last two years at the court.

Join us back here next week as we turn our attention to a new topic.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by PDPhotos (no changes).

Last time, we reviewed the year-by-year percentage of the Supreme Court’s civil caseload that is drawn from Appellate Court cases with a dissenter to evaluate the claim that a petition for leave to appeal from a unanimous decision is a hopeless exercise.  This time, we’re looking at the Court’s criminal cases.  Just like last time, the graph reports the percentage of cases with a dissenter below, so if the Court only reviews divided decisions, it should be close to 100%.

It isn’t.  The share of divided Appellate Court decisions was 21.74% in 1990 and 25.86% in 1991, but fell for most of the rest of the nineties – 11.96% (1992), 2.33% (1993), 15.38% (1994), 3.8% (1995), 1.85% (1996), 9.52% (1997) and 6.94% (1998).  After a one year uptick to 13.21% in 1999, it was back in single digits in 2000 (6.98%) and 2001 (8.62%).

Over the past twenty years, divided decisions have become a bit more prominent in the criminal docket, but not much.  By 2007, cases with dissenters had risen to 28.57%.  By 2010, it was 32.73%.  It fell to 13.16% by 2013 but was back up to 23.53% in 2014 and 33.33% in 2015.  In 2016, the share was 20%.  After being nearly flat the following year at 20.59%, it rose to 30.77% in 2018.  Divided decisions were 19.05% of the criminal docket in 2019, but so far in 2020, 39.29% of the criminal docket had dissenters below.

Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to a new topic.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by John DiLiberto (no changes).

Last week, we addressed the frequently heard claim that seeking Supreme Court review of an unpublished decision from the Appellate Court is a hopeless task.  This week, we’re addressing a similar claim – that the Supreme Court doesn’t review unanimous decisions.  Below, we’ll address the data from civil cases, and in our next post, we’ll look at the criminal cases.

In Table 1689, we report the percentage of the Court’s civil decisions every year that had a dissent below.  If the claim we’re analyzing is correct – that only divided decisions get reviewed – then the number should be somewhere close to 100%.  But it isn’t – not even close.

From 1990 to 1996, the percentage of civil cases with dissenters below was between 20% and 30% – reaching a high of 28.3% in 1991 and 28% in 1994.  There was a one year dip in divided cases in 1997, when only 9.52% of the civil docket had dissents below.  In 1999, the share with dissents jumped to 36.59%, but in 2001, it was down to only 7.84%.  From 2005 to 2013, the share of divided Appellate Court decisions bounced around every year between about one in four and one in three.  In 2014, only 14.81% of civil cases decided by the Court had a dissenter below, and in 2016, only 17.86% did.  In 2017, 38.46% of civil cases had a dissent below.  In 2018, it was 22.73, and that number has fallen since: 2019, 20.59% and so far in 2020, 19.35%.

Join us back here next time as we review the numbers for the criminal docket.

Image courtesy of Pixabay by Eyemyself (no changes).