5917576036_5fbcb90b09_zLast week, we began to take a close look at the reversal rates of the Illinois Supreme Court, disaggregated by area of the law, for the first five years of our study period.

How did things change during the next five years, after the Court’s party balance had shifted from five Democrats and two Republicans to four to three? Once again, tort law accounted for the largest single share of the Court’s civil docket, although its share was down slightly. Constitutional law issues are significantly more common during these five years, with civil procedure cases somewhat less so. Government and administrative law cases and insurance cases are somewhat up, with domestic relations and workers compensation cases steady:

Table 18 A

During the five years that followed, the Court’s civil docket shifted towards a much more equal distribution of conservative and liberal Appellate Court decisions in most subject areas. Where sixty-five percent of the Court’s tort law cases involved plaintiffs prevailing at the Appellate Court between 2000 and 2004, and two thirds of its insurance law cases involved policyholder wins, cases are now almost evenly divided between plaintiff and defendant wins.

Table 18 B

Tomorrow, we continue with our close look at the Court’s reversal rates between 2005 and 2009.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Denise Krebs (no changes).