Archives: Oral Argument Question Patterns

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What Can We Infer When Justice Freeman Asks the First Question in a Criminal Case?

Yesterday, we showed that unlike many of his colleagues, Justice Freeman does not tend to ask the party he’s voting against more questions at oral argument – he averages more questions to the appellants in every scenario.  Today, we ask whether we can infer that Justice Freeman is writing an opinion in cases where he … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer From Justice Freeman’s Question Pattern in Criminal Cases?

Last week, we looked at the pattern of Justice Freeman’s questioning in oral arguments in civil cases, analyzing whether he tends to ask more questions of the party he will ultimately vote against, and what impact writing an opinion has on questioning.  This week, we take a look at Justice Freeman’s patterns in criminal cases. … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer When Justice Freeman Asks the First Question in a Civil Case?

Yesterday, we began analyzing Justice Freeman’s question patterns in civil cases.  Today, we analyze whether it is more likely that Justice Freeman will ask the first question, depending on his vote and whether he’s writing an opinion. Overall, when Justice Freeman is in the majority of an affirmance, there’s a 12.5% chance that Justice Freeman … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer From Justice Freeman’s Question Pattern in Civil Cases?

Last week, we analyzed Justice Garman’s question patterns in criminal cases.  This week, we address Justice Freeman’s question pattern in civil cases. We begin with cases in which Justice Freeman has voted with the majority.  When Justice Freeman votes with the majority, he more heavily questions the appellant by a wide margin.  Justice Freeman averages … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer When Justice Garman Asks the First Question in a Criminal Case?

Yesterday, we showed how Justice Garman’s vote and whether she is writing an opinion impacts her question patterns in criminal cases.  Today, we take the analysis the final step: what can we infer when Justice Garman asks the first question in a criminal case? When Justice Garman is in the majority of an affirmance, she … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer From Justice Garman’s Question Pattern in Criminal Cases?

Last week, we looked at the data from the past nine years’ oral arguments in civil cases, analyzing how Justice Garman’s vote, and whether or not she’s in the majority, impacts her question patterns.  We also looked at whether it’s reasonable to infer that Justice Garman might be writing an opinion in cases where she’s … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer When Justice Garman Asks the First Question in a Civil Case?

Yesterday, we showed that between 2008 and 2016, an unusually high level of questions from Justice Garman indicated that she was likely writing an opinion.  We also demonstrated that when Justice Garman was in the minority, she averaged more questions to the party she would vote against rather than the party which would ultimately lose. … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer From Justice Garman’s Question Pattern in Civil Cases?

Two weeks ago, we began our detailed analysis of the data on oral arguments in civil and criminal cases between 2008 and 2016.  This week and next, we’ll be looking at Justice Rita B. Garman’s patterns in oral argument, starting with civil cases. Our data includes 102 cases in which Justice Garman voted with a … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer When Justice Burke Asks the First Question in a Criminal Case?

Yesterday, we reviewed the data on Justice Burke’s question patterns in criminal cases. Today, we ask a related question: if Justice Burke asks the first question, can we infer that she is likely writing an opinion? Writing the majority opinion has some impact on the likelihood that Justice Burke will ask the first question. In … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer from Justice Burke’s Questioning Patterns in Criminal Cases (Part 1)?

Last week, we began our review of the individual Justices’ patterns in oral arguments, reviewing the data on Justice Anne M. Burke’s questioning in civil cases from 2008 to 2016. Today, we address Justice Burke’s patterns in criminal cases. We report the data for criminal cases when Justice Burke is in the majority in Table … Continue Reading

Is Justice Burke More Likely to Start the Questioning When She’s Writing an Opinion?

Yesterday, we analyzed the data from nine years’ worth of oral arguments in civil cases, looking at correlations between Justice Burke’s question patterns, her voting and whether she wrote an opinion in a given case.  Today, we address whether Justice Burke is statistically more likely to be writing an opinion in cases where she asks … Continue Reading

What Can We Infer From Justice Anne M. Burke’s Questioning Pattern in Civil Cases (Part 1)?

This week we’re turning our attention to multiple issues: (1) does each individual Justice ask more questions of the prevailing or losing party in civil cases; (2) is the Justice’s pattern different when he or she votes with the minority; (3) what difference does it make for each Justice’s questioning if the Justice is writing … Continue Reading

Does a More Active Bench Indicate That the Court Will Reverse in Criminal Cases?

Yesterday, we established that all things being equal, the Illinois Supreme Court has tended to ask somewhat more questions in civil cases where they reverse than in cases where they affirm.  Today, we address the Court’s criminal cases from 2008 to 2016. Our database consists of 160 affirmances in criminal cases and 188 reversals.  Once … Continue Reading

Does a More Active Bench Indicate That the Court Will Reverse in Civil Cases?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been studying the Illinois Supreme Court’s oral arguments between 2008 and 2016.  This week, we address a new question: is there a correlation between the result – reversal or affirmance – and the total number of questions?  Or to put it in less mathematical language, does an active bench … Continue Reading

Does a Dissent at the Appellate Court Mean a More Active Bench at Oral Argument in Criminal Cases?

Yesterday, we determined that a dissent below, all things being equal, will lead to at least a slightly more active oral argument for appellees.  The data for appellants is more variable – the averages are virtually identical, but the numbers vary widely from case to case.  So what’s the answer for criminal cases? Between 2008 … Continue Reading

Does a Dissent at the Appellate Court Mean a More Active Bench at Oral Argument in Civil Cases?

For the past several weeks, we’ve been comparing the level of questioning at the Court in civil and criminal cases to various facts about the underlying case, searching for factors which explain how active the Court is at oral argument.  This week, we turn our attention to a new possibility: is a dissent at the … Continue Reading

How Does the Area of Law Impact the Level of Questioning in Criminal Cases?

Yesterday, we analyzed how the area of law impacted the total volume of questions during oral argument in civil cases between 2008 and 2016, as well as analyzing how many questions one could expect in the most common areas of law in future cases. Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal docket. The … Continue Reading

How Does the Area of Law Impact the Level of Questioning at Oral Argument?

For the past several weeks, we’ve been comparing the data on the number and sequence of the Illinois Supreme Court’s questions at oral argument to various variables, searching for possible predictors of particularly active oral arguments. This week, we’ll be asking whether the area of law involved in a case impacts the level of questioning. … Continue Reading

How Likely Is It That the First Question in a Criminal Case Comes From a Justice Writing the Majority, a Concurrence or a Dissent?

Yesterday, we looked at the likelihood that the first question to each side at oral argument in civil cases came from a Justice who would write an opinion – either the majority, a special concurrence or a dissent. Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal cases between 2008 and 2016. Beginning with appellants, … Continue Reading

How Likely Is It That the First Question in a Civil Case Comes From a Justice Writing the Majority, a Concurrence or a Dissent?

Today, we turn our analysis of the Illinois Supreme Court’s oral arguments between 2008 and 2016 to a new question: how likely is it that the Justice who asks the first question in a civil case is writing an opinion? In Table 433 below, we report the percentage of instances in civil cases in which … Continue Reading

Do More Questions at Oral Argument Mean a Longer Majority Opinion (Part 2 – Criminal Docket)?

Yesterday, we investigated whether a more active bench at oral argument in civil cases suggested that the majority opinion would be longer.  Today, we look at the same question on the criminal side of the docket by tracking the correlation between total questions and the length of the majority opinion. We report the data for … Continue Reading

Do More Questions at Oral Argument Mean a Longer Majority Opinion (Part 1 – Civil Docket)?

Last week, we analyzed whether a more active bench at oral argument suggests that the case is likely to be under submission longer.  We found that there was no consistent, strong correlation between total questions and days under submission, either on the civil or criminal side. This week, we ask a different question: does a … Continue Reading

Do More Questions Mean a Longer Wait for the Opinion in Criminal Cases?

Yesterday, we investigated whether more questions at oral argument meant a longer wait for the opinion by tracking the correlation between total questions and lag time.  Today, we apply the same test to the Court’s criminal cases. We report the correlation between days from the oral argument to decision and total number of questions in … Continue Reading

Do More Questions Mean a Longer Wait for the Opinion in Civil Cases?

For several weeks, we’ve been evaluating what we can infer from the pattern of the Illinois Supreme Court’s questions in civil and criminal cases.  This week, we turn to a new question: does an active bench mean you’ll be waiting a longer time for the opinion?  One can easily imagine that the answer might be … Continue Reading
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