Yesterday, we studied whether there’s a constant relationship, year after year, between the ultimate result in civil cases and the lag time to a decision – the number of days from allowance of the PLA to oral argument, and from argument to decision. Today, we review the year-by-year data for the criminal docket.

Between 2010 and 2014, reversals took longer to get from grant to argument in every year. In 2010, affirmances averaged 263.808 days to 274.1 for reversals. In 2011, the numbers were about the same – affirmances averaged 264.89 days, reversals averaged 270.59. The next year, both sides were up a bit – affirmances took 295.2 days from allowance of the PLA to argument, and reversals took 317.57 days. In 2013, affirmances averaged 288.73 days to 294.75 for reversals. In 2014, the numbers diverged, with affirmances averaging 246.2 days to argument and reversals taking an average of 285.5 days.

Since 2014, the trend has reversed itself. In 2015, affirmances took an average of 311.6 days to be argued, while reversals took 288.14. Last year, affirmances were about the same – 308.2 days from grant to argument, while reversals averaged 274.13 days.

Table 451

Measuring lag time from argument to decision yields a similar result – reversals typically took a bit longer on the criminal side. In 2010, affirmances were handed down on average 112.38 days after argument, while reversals took 136.8 days. In 2011, affirmances slowed down to 163 days, while reversals dropped slightly to 129 days. In 2012, the numbers were flat – affirmances took 127.4 days, reversals 129.29. For 2013, affirmances came more quickly (105.93 days) while reversals slowed down (157.1 days). The next year, lag times were shorter regardless of the result – affirmances were filed an average of 96.8 days after argument to 95.67 days for reversals. In 2015, affirmances came in 95 days, while reversals slowed to 142.82 days. Finally, last year, affirmances averaged 104.7 days, while reversals took 159.56 days on average.

Table 452

Join us back here next Tuesday as we begin our analysis of another aspect of the Court’s civil decision making.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Teemu008 (no changes).