225249268_a1bfcd0d68_zIn our last post, we continued our examination of the legal issues appearing on the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket, examining the period 2005-2009.

Turning to the final five years of our study period, we see tort cases slightly down in absolute terms. Government/administrative and constitutional law cases are down on the Court’s civil docket, as are insurance and employment matters:


For the entire period, the leading areas of law on the Court’s civil docket are:


Broadly speaking, these findings are in line with the academic research studying court dockets around the country over the past fifty years. Tort, civil procedure, domestic relations and government cases have become a mainstay of most state Supreme Courts’ dockets. The continuing prominence of constitutional and insurance law on the Court’s docket is perhaps mildly surprising. As predicted by the academic literature, property law cases are a minor player in the Court’s civil caseload.

Next time, we’ll turn our analysis of the Court’s civil docket to another question: does getting a dissent at the Appellate Court help get the Supreme Court’s attention – or to put it another way, is seeking leave to appeal a unanimous decision of the Appellate Court a hopeless task?

Image courtesy of Flickr by Pawel Loj (no changes).