Now we turn to a somewhat different question. It has long been part of the conventional wisdom in the appellate bar that a dissent at the Appellate Court helps considerably in getting the Court’s attention for a petition for leave to appeal.
But is it true?
We approach the question in two steps. Because a large portion of the Illinois Appellate Court’s mandatory docket is highly determinate as a legal matter, with the result a largely foregone conclusion based upon established precedent, the Appellate Court issues published opinions in only a small fraction of its cases. Nevertheless, although published opinions arise from the more legally debatable questions, dissent is relatively uncommon in most Districts:
Not surprisingly, with the exception of the Third District, dissent in cases decided by non-precedential Rule 23 orders is exceeding rare:
Tomorrow morning, we’ll turn to the data itself and answer the question – how important are dissents at the Appellate Court in getting a PLA granted?
 Data reported is dissenting opinions as a fraction of total written opinions. Data is from the Statistical Report of the Illinois Courts, 2001-2012.