How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Compensation Cases (Part 4 of 4)

The Court’s workers compensation docket has been light in the last six years.  The Court has decided only three workers compensation cases recently – two in 2015 and one in 2016.

All three of the Court’s latest workers compensation cases were won by the plaintiffs below.

Defendants who won at the Appellate Court were one win and zero losses at the Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs who won their workers compensation cases at the Appellate Court were winless at the Supreme Court, winning zero while losing two.

Overall, defendants have won all three workers compensation cases since 2014.

Next, we review the issues the Court decided in its workers compensation cases.  The Court decided one case in 2015 involving the power and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission, one case involving compensability and one case involving procedural issues.

None of the Justices have cast votes for defendants in workers compensation cases since 2014.  Justices Freeman, Garman, Kilbride, Thomas, Karmeier, Burke and Theis have all cast three votes against defendants.

Finally, we compare the Justices’ votes for the entire twenty-nine year period to the overall data regarding cases won by the defense side to determine which Justices were more likely to vote for the defense side than the Court as a whole.  Justice Miller voted for defendants 65.63 percent of the time, Justice Moran did so in sixty percent of cases.  Justice Nickels was 57.89%, Justice Rathje was 57.14%, Justice Heiple’s rate was 55.17%, Justice McMorrow’s was 52.5% and Justices Calvo and Cunningham voted with defendants half the time.

Finally, we review the Justices who were less likely to support defendants in workers compensation than the Court as a whole.  First, we have Justice Fitzgerald at 47.62%.  Three more Justices were in the forties – Justice Bilandic (46.43%), Freeman (41.07%) and Clark (40%).  Four Justices were in the thirties – Thomas (39.13%), Garman (37.04%), Stamos (33.33%) and Ryan (33.33%).  Justice Karmeier agreed with the majority only 27.78% of the time.  Justice Burke did so in 27.27% of cases.  Behind her were Justices Harrison (25.81%), Kilbride (23.08%) and Theis (16.67%).  Justice Rarick did not even vote for workers compensation defendants.

Join us next Tuesday as we turn our attention to a new area of law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by CheepShot (no changes).

How Have Defendants in Workers Compensation Cases Fared Since 1990 (Part 3 of 4)

Today, we continue our review of the Illinois Supreme Court’s workers compensation caseload.  Between 2006 and 2013, the Court decided twelve workers compensation cases – three in 2006, three in 2007, one per year in 2008, 2009 and 2010, none in 2011 or 2012 and three in 2013.

Seven of the Court’s most recent workers compensation cases were won by the plaintiff below and five were won by defendants.

Defendants who won workers compensation cases at the Appellate Court have had a rough time of late, winning only one while losing four.

Plaintiffs who won at the Appellate Court generally lost at the Supreme Court too, winning two and losing five.

Combining the last two tables to arrive at the overall won-lost, we find that between 2006 and 2013, defendants won six and lost six.

The Court has six cases involving issues of compensability, two involving the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission, two involving procedural issues, and one each involving workers compensation exclusivity and lien and credit holders.

Turning to the Justices’ voting records, Justices Freeman, Garman and Thomas cast four votes for defendants in workers compensation cases.  Justices Karmeier and Burke cast three votes for defendants.  Justices Kilbride and Fitzgerald cast two votes for defendants and Justices McMorrow and Theis cast one vote each.

Justice Kilbride led during these years with nine votes against workers compensation defendants.  Justices Freeman, Garman and Karmeier cast eight votes against defendants each.  Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald voted against defendants seven times each.  Justice Theis cast two votes and Justices McMorrow and Burke cast one each.

Join us tomorrow as we finish our review of the Court’s workers compensation cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Rita Simon (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Comp Cases Before the Supreme Court (Part 2 of 4)?

The workers comp docket was up slightly between 1998 and 2005, as the Court decided twenty-three cases: four in 1998, three in 1999, four in 2000, one in 2001, three in 2002, two in 2003 and 2004 and four in 2005.

The distribution of cases between plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court and defendants’ wins was about the same as it was from 1990 to 1997.  Between 1998 and 2005, the Court decided nine cases which were won by plaintiffs at the Appellate Court and fifteen cases won by defendants.

Defendants who had won at the Appellate Court had a tough time defending their wins at the Supreme Court between 1998 and 2005.  Winning defendants won three cases while losing ten.

Plaintiffs who won at the Appellate Court were just slightly above .500, winning six cases between 1998 and 2005 while losing five.

Combining these two tables, we find that overall between 1998 and 2005, defendants won eight workers comp cases while losing sixteen.

Next, we look at the specific issues the Court decided in its workers compensation cases.  Between 1998 and 2005, the Court decided eleven cases involving procedural issues, seven involving compensability, three involving the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission and three involving liens and credits against recoveries.

Next, we review the individual Justices’ voting records.  Justice McMorrow cast nine votes for defendants in workers comp cases, Justices Freeman and Fitzgerald cast eight votes each, Justice Miller cast seven votes, Justice Garman cast six votes, Justice Thomas cast five, Justices Rathje and Kilbride cast four apiece, Justices Bilandic and Heiple cast three votes each, and Justices Harrison and Karmeier cast two votes each.

Justice Freeman led with fifteen votes against defendants.  Justices McMorrow and Harrison voted against defendants fourteen times each.  Justices Bilandic, Heiple and Kilbride voted against defendants eight times apiece.  Justice Garman voted against defendants six times.  Justices Miller, Nickels, Fitzgerald and Thomas voted against defendants four times each.  Justice Rathje voted against defendants three times and Justices Rarick and Karmeier did so twice each.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the Court’s workers compensation cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ryan Summers (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Comp Cases Before the Supreme Court (Part 1 of 4)

Today, we’re beginning a new area of law in our analysis of the Justices’ handling of workers compensation cases, beginning with the years 1990 to 1997.

From 1990 to 1997, the Supreme Court decided twenty-one workers comp cases – three in 1990, one in 1991, two each in 1992 and 1993, six in 1994, two each in 1995 and 1996 and three in 1997.

Did the Court incline more towards plaintiffs’ wins or defense wins from the Appellate Court for its workers comp docket?  For the years 1990 to 1997, the Court decided eight cases which the plaintiffs won at the Appellate Court to thirteen cases won by the defendant.

Defendants who won before the Appellate Court won six cases before the Supreme Court between 1990 and 1997 while losing seven.

Plaintiffs who prevailed in these cases at the Appellate Court had a rough time between 1990 and 1997, winning one while losing seven.

Between 1990 and 1997, defendants won thirteen workers compensation cases at the Supreme Court and losing eight.

During these years, the Court’s workers comp cases were largely procedural.  The Court decided thirteen cases involving procedural issues, four related to compensability, three involved issues of liens and credits against the judgment, and one case apiece related to workers comp exclusivity and the power and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission.

Justice Miller cast the most votes for workers compensation defendants during these years – fourteen votes.  Justice Heiple cast thirteen votes.  Justices Freeman, McMorrow and Nickels cast eleven votes in all.  Justice Bilandic cast ten votes.  Justice Harrison cast six votes, Justice Moran cast three, Justice Clark cast two and Justices Stamos, Ryan, Calvo and Cunningham cast one vote apiece.

Justice Harrison led the Court in votes against workers comp defendants with nine.  Justices Miller, Bilandic and Freeman cast seven votes each.  Justice Heiple cast five votes, Justices McMorrow and Nickels cast four votes each, Justice Clark cast three votes, Justices Stamos, Ryan and Moran cast two votes apiece.  Justices Calvo and Cunningham supported defendants only once.

Join us tomorrow as we continue our review.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Peasap (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Civil Constitutional Law Cases at the Supreme Court (Part 4)?

Today, we conclude our trip through the Court’s civil constitutional law cases.

Between 2014 and 2019, the Court has decided twenty-seven civil constitutional law cases: four in 2014, five in 2015, six in 2016, three in 2017, five in 2018 and two to date in 2019.

The Court tended to take slightly more plaintiffs wins from the Appellate Court during this period than defendants’ wins: fourteen wins for plaintiffs, eleven for defendants.  In 2014, the Court decided one plaintiffs win to three defense wins.  In 2015, the Court decided three plaintiffs wins to two defense wins.  In 2016, the Court decided five plaintiffs wins to only one defendants win.  In 2017, the Court decided two plaintiffs wins to one defendants win.  In 2018, the Court decided two plaintiffs wins to three defendants wins.  In 2019, the Court has decided one plaintiffs win and one defendants win.

Defendants who won at the Appellate Court had a difficult time at the Supreme Court, winning four while losing seven.

Plaintiffs who won below fared only a little better, winning eight and losing six.

Defendants overall have had a tough time at the Supreme Court in recent years, winning eleven cases while losing fourteen. 

Next, we review the specific areas in which the Court’s cases fell.  The Court decided four due process cases in 2014, two due process, two governmental and one judicial in 2015, five governmental and one judicial in 2016, three due process in 2017, four due process and one governmental in 2018 and one due process and one governmental so far in 2019.

Turning to the individual Justices’ records, Justice Theis cast the most votes for constitutional law defendants at thirteen, Justice Garman cast twelve, Justices Kilbride and Thomas has eleven votes, Justice Freeman had ten votes, Justice Karmeier had nine and Justice Burke had eight.  Justice Neville, who joined the Court in 2018, cast one vote for a defendant in a constitutional law case.

As for votes against constitutional law defendants, Justice Burke cast sixteen.  Chief Justice Karmeier had fifteen.  Justice Garman had thirteen.  Justices Kilbride, Thomas and Theis had twelve each.  Justice Freeman and ten, and Justice Neville had four.

From 1990 to 2019, defendants in civil constitutional law matters have won 57.76% of their cases.  Below, we report the Justices who voted for those defendants at a higher rate than the Court as a whole.  Justice Thomas is first at 60.53%, closely followed by Justice Garman at 60.49% and Justice Fitzgerald at 60%.  Justice Theis has voted for defendants in 59.38% of civil constitutional law cases, Justice Kilbride 59.26%, and Justices Miller and Ryan did so 58.33% of the time.  Note that four of the seven currently active Justices are on this list.

Finally, we report the much longer list of Justices who have supported defendants’ positions in civil constitutional law cases at a lesser rate than the Court as a whole.  Justice Karmeier has voted for defendants in 56.6% of cases.  Justices Stamos and Rarick are at 53.85%.  Justice McMorrow is at 53.41%, followed by Justice Freeman at 53.24% and Justice Clark at 52%.  Eight Justices were in the forties: Justices Burke (48.94%), Moran and Nickels (48%), Ward (46.15%), Heiple (44.93%), Bilandic (44.44%), Harrison (43.75%) and Rathje (42.86%).  Justice Calvo voted for defendants in only 38.46% of cases and Justice Cunningham in 30.77%.  In his very limited time on the Court so far, Justice Neville has voted for defendants in civil constitutional law cases 20% of the time.

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

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jeff Sharp (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Constitutional Law Cases at the Supreme Court (Part 3)?

Today, we’re continuing our series of posts on the Court’s experience since 1990 with civil constitutional law cases.

Constitutional law cases continued to drop sharply as a share of the civil docket between 2006 and 2013, as the Court decided only twenty-nine cases.  The Court decided five cases in 2006, two in 2007, eight in 2008, two in 2009, five in 2010, two in 2011, two in 2012 and three in 2013.

The Court preferred cases won at the Appellate Court by a small margin.  Of the twenty-nine cases decided, thirteen were won by the plaintiff below and sixteen by the defendants.

However, defendants were doing fairly well at the Supreme Court in cases they won below.  Between 2006 and 2013, winning defendants won eleven cases at the Supreme Court while losing only five.  Between 2013 and 2013, winning defendants won all six cases.

Winning plaintiffs, on the other hand, were having a difficult time at the Supreme Court, winning only four cases while losing nine.

Combining parts of the last two tables, we find that between 2006 and 2013, defendants won twenty civil issues involving constitutional law while losing only nine.

Between 2006 and 2013, the most common issue of civil constitutional law on the Court’s docket was questions about the authority and structure of governmental entities and public offices.  The Court decided eleven such cases.  Seven of the Court’s cases related to due process, six involved preemption and five involved procedural issues in the judiciary.

As for the Justices’ voting records, Justices Garman and Karmeier led the Court with twenty-one votes each for defendants in civil constitutional law cases.  Following them were Justices Thomas (eighteen votes), Kilbride (seventeen votes), Freeman (sixteen votes) and Burke (fifteen votes).

Justice Kilbride led the Court during these years with twelve votes each against defendants in civil constitutional law cases.  Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald were next with nine each.  Justices Freeman, Garman, Burke and Karmeier were next at eight votes apiece.

Join us back here tomorrow as we wrap up this survey of the Court’s civil constitutional law cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Roman Boed (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Constitutional Law Cases at the Supreme Court Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Earlier today, we began our review of the Court’s history with civil constitutional law cases, starting with the years 1990 through 1997.  This time, we’re looking at the next eight years: 1998 to 2005.

Constitutional law cases were down during this period.  After deciding sixty-five cases between 1990 and 1997, the Court decided only forty-nine in the eight years following: thirteen in 1998, six in 1999, only one in 2000, six in 2001, four in 2002, five in 2003, and seven each in 2004 and 2005.

Defense wins from the Appellate Court were a bit more common than plaintiffs’ wins among the Court’s civil constitutional law cases.  In all, the Court decided twenty-one constitutional cases won by the plaintiff below, but twenty-five cases won by the defendant.

Defendants who won at the Appellate Court broke even at the Supreme Court, winning eleven and losing eleven (although defendants had to win six of seven cases during the years 2003-2005 in order to pull even).

Plaintiffs who won below, on the other hand, had a horrendous time from 1998 to 2005, winning only five while losing nineteen.

Given that plaintiffs’ number, it’s not surprising that defendants’ overall won-loss record, including both cases they won and lost below, was thirty wins and only sixteen losses.

During these years, the Court decided sixteen cases falling into the broad category of the powers and organization of government entities and officials.  Fourteen cases involved due process issues.  Eight involved issues relating to the judicial branch, and seven involved preemption issues.  The Court decided only two cases involving First Amendment issues.

Turning to the Justices’ voting records, Justices Freeman and McMorrow cast the most votes for defendants in constitutional law cases during this period – thirty each.  Justice Kilbride cast twenty votes, followed by Justice Fitzgerald (18 votes), Justice Thomas (17 votes) and Justices Harrison and Garman (16 votes apiece).

The most votes were cast against defendants in constitutional law cases was eighteen by Justice McMorrow.  Next was Justice Freeman at seventeen votes, Justice Harrison (thirteen votes), and eleven votes apiece by Justices Heiple, Garman and Fitzgerald.

Join us back here in a few days as we finish our tour through the Court’s civil constitutional law docket.

Image courtesy of Flickr by James Jordan (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Constitutional Law Cases at the Supreme Court Since 1990 (Part 1)?

Last time, we completed our review of the Court and Justices’ voting records on employment law cases.  This week, we’re taking a look at the Court’s history with civil constitutional law cases (we also track constitutional law cases on the criminal law docket, but those cases are not included in the data below).

Throughout the 1990s, constitutional law was a common subject on the Court’s civil docket.  The Court decided thirteen cases in 1990, two in 1991, eleven in 1992, three in 1993, eight in 1994, five in 1995, fourteen in 1996 and nine in 1997.

During these years, plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court were a bit more common than defendants’ wins.  In all, the Court accepted thirty-four plaintiffs’ wins and twenty-seven cases won by the defendants below.

Next, we look at the Supreme Court record of the winning party below.  If, for example, the Court frequently affirms defendants’ wins and reverses plaintiffs’ wins, that could be some evidence that the Court would like to move the law in a particular area in a more conservative direction (and vice versa).  Between 1990 and 1997, defendants who won their cases at the Appellate Court won thirteen at the Supreme Court and lost fourteen.

The won-loss record for plaintiffs who won below was only slightly worse.  Between 1990 and 1997, plaintiffs who won at the Appellate Court won fifteen cases at the Supreme Court and lost nineteen.

Next, we combine parts of the data from the last two tables to arrive at an overall won-loss record for defendants in constitutional law cases.  From 1990 to 1997, defendants won thirty-two cases and lost twenty-nine.

Of course, there are many subfields within the catchall subject of constitutional law.  Where were the Court’s cases most often coming from in the 1990s?  Twenty-four cases raised issues regarding the powers and organization of government entities and public officials.  Sixteen raised due process issues.  Ten involved Illinois’ pension clause (including nine in 1992 alone).  Nine involved issues of the judicial branch.  Six raised preemption issues.  Four raised First Amendment issues, three were equal protection cases, and one involved a search and seizure issue.

During these years, Justice Miller voted for constitutional law defendants most often – thirty-six votes.  Justice Freeman was next with eighteen votes, followed by Justice Bilandic (sixteen votes), Justice McMorrow and Justice Nickels (fifteen votes each).

As for the Justices’ votes against defendants in constitutional law cases, Justice Freeman led with thirty.  Behind him were Justices Miller, Heiple and Bilandic, tied with twenty-seven each.  Justice Harrison was next with twenty-three votes.

Join us back here later today as we review the data for the years 1998 to 2005.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Rodrigo Paredes (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Employment Law Cases at the Court Since 1990 (Part 3)?

Last time, we reviewed the data on the Court’s employment law cases from 2000 to 2010 and began looking at the data for the past nine years.  Today, we review the remainder of the data, as well as looking at the overall numbers.

Since employment law cases have been so rare since 2010, we combine the data for defendants who won at the Appellate Court and plaintiffs who won below.  Since 2010, defendants who won below have won once and lost twice at the Supreme Court.  Plaintiffs who had won at the Appellate Court, on the other hand, are 0-3 since 2010 at the Supreme Court.  Overall since 1990, defendants who prevailed below have eleven wins and eleven losses at the Supreme Court.  Plaintiffs who won below have ten wins and seven losses at the Supreme Court.

Combining the data below into a single graphic tracking employment law defendants’ won-loss record (regardless of who won below), we see that since 2010, defendants have won four cases and lost two.  Since 1990, employment law defendants have won eighteen and lost twenty-one at the Supreme Court.

Since 2010, the Court has decided one case relating to tort and contract liability, one discrimination case, three wage and hour/collective bargaining cases, one posing public employment issues and one “other.”  Since 1990, the Court has decided sixteen cases involving wage and hour or collective bargaining issues, eleven involving tort or contract liability, six involving discrimination, five involving public employment issues and two “other.”

Next, we review the data for how many times each year the individual Justices supported an employment law defendant’s position.  Justices Garman, Thomas, Karmeier and Burke each voted for employment law defendants four times since 2010.  The remaining Justices (aside from Justice Fitzgerald) supported defendants in three cases.

As for each Justice’s votes against employment law defendants, Justices Garman and Burke lead with five apiece and Justices Freeman, Kilbride and Theis are next, all with three.

As we noted above, since 1990, defendants in employment law cases have won eighteen and lost twenty-one – a winning percentage of 46.15%.  So which Justices have been more likely to support defendants in these cases than the Court as a whole?  We see the numbers in Table 1121.  Chief Justice Karmeier is first, having voted for the defendant to prevail in 76.92% of employment law cases.  Justice Ryan is next at 66.67, followed by Justice Garman (56.52%), Justice Thomas (55%) and Justice McMorrow (52.63%).  Justices Nickels, Fitzgerald, Rarick, Stamos and Theis have supported defendants exactly half the time.

And in Table 1122, we see the flip side – Justices who have voted for employment law defendants to prevail less often than the Court as a whole.  Justice Miller voted for defendants in 45% of his cases.  Justices Heiple and Bilandic were at 43.75%, Justice Freeman was at 41.18% and Justices Kilbride and Burke have voted for defendants 40% of the time.  Justices Moran and Ward supported defendants in 33.33% of employment law cases, and Justices Harrison and Calvo did so in 25%.  Justice Clark voted for defendants in only 11.11% of his employment law cases.  Finally, Justices Cunningham and Rathje never did during their comparatively short tenures.

Join us back here next week as we move on to a new area of law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jeffrey Zeldman (no changes).

 

How Have Defendants Fared in Employment Law Cases at the Court Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Last time, we began our review of the Court’s recent history with employment law cases, covering the years 1990 through 1999.  Today, our review continues with the years 2000 through 2009.

The Court’s employment law docket tailed off during our second ten years, from nineteen cases between 1990 and 1999 to fourteen in the period 2000-2009.  However, the Court continued to accept for review slightly more defense wins from the Appellate Court than plaintiffs’ wins – eight defense, six plaintiffs.

Defendants were less successful at defending their Appellate Court wins at the Supreme Court, however, winning only three while losing five cases.

Plaintiffs who won their cases at the Appellate Court fared only slightly better during those years, winning three and losing three at the Supreme Court.

Overall, for the years 2000 through 2009, defendants in employment cases won six cases at the Supreme Court while losing eight.

In the next table, we review the subjects covered in the employment law cases.  During these years, the Court predominantly decided cases involving wage/hour and collective bargaining issues.  The Court decided eleven such cases, five cases involving tort or contract liability, two involving discrimination issues and two involving public employment.

In Table 1113, we review the total votes for employment law defendants cast by each Justice per year.  Justice Garman most frequently supported defendants’ arguments, with nine votes, followed by Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald with seven votes apiece and Chief Justice Karmeier with six votes.

In our next Table, we review each Justice’s votes year by year against employment law defendants.  Justice Kilbride led with nine votes, followed by Justices Thomas and Fitzgerald with seven apiece and Justice Freeman with six.

Between 2010 and 2018, employment law accounted for an even smaller slice of the Court’s civil docket – only seven cases in all.  The Court decided three cases in 2011, one in 2012, two in 2013 and one in 2014.

In the past nine years, the employment law cases have been equally divided – three plaintiffs’ wins at the Appellate Court, three defendants’ wins.  (If you’re wondering where the seventh case went, the Court decided an employment law case in 2012 on a certified question from the Seventh Circuit – so no one had won the case “below.”

Join us back here next time as we finish our review of the employment law data for the years 2010 to 2018.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jeff Sharp (no changes).

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