Today, we’re beginning our review of voting records for a new area of law – tort.  Today and next week, we’ll be working our way through the data showing how tort defendants have fared at the Appellate Court since 1990: total wins and losses; wins from the Appellate Court affirmed (and reversed); and losses from below reversed or affirmed.

Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court decided a lot of tort cases from 1990 to 1999.  Across the entire decade, tort defendants won 99 cases at the Court while losing 75.  Defendants hit .500 during 1990 and 1991, winning 18 and losing 18, before going 9-19 in 1992 and 4-8 in 1993, but after that, the defendants fared fairly well, winning 68 of 98 cases.

For the first half of the decade, tort defendants struggled to retain their wins from the Appellate Court, winning affirmances in only 14 while getting reversed 20 times.  But things turned around from 1995 to 1999, as winning defendants from the Appellate Court won 15 at the Supreme Court while losing only 10.

Finally, how did tort defendants fare in cases they had lost at the Appellate Court?  Across the entire decade tort defendants won 70 cases which they had lost below while losing only 45.  In 1992 and 1993, defendants had eight wins to 17 losses, but they fared much better in the second half of the decade.  From 1995 to 1999, tort defendants won 44 cases they had lost below while losing only 14.

Join us back here next Wednesday as we turn our attention to the numbers for the years 2000 to 2009.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Claudia Wollesen (no changes).