This time, we’re continuing our trip through the amicus data, comparing winning percentage for appellants’ and appellees’ amici, one area of law at a time, to the overall winning percentage for each side in that area.

In workers compensation cases, appellants won 67.5% of the cases to 32.5% for appellees.  Appellants’ amici won 70% of their cases, while appellees’ amici lost all theirs.  Appellants in commercial law cases won 62.5% of their cases to 37.5% for appellees.  Appellants’ amici in commercial law cases won all their cases; appellees’ amici lost all theirs.

Appellants in insurance law cases won 62.26% of their cases to 37.74% for appellees.  Amici had similar records in insurance cases – appellants’ amici won 62.5%, while appellees’ amici won 62.96%.  In contract law cases, appellants and appellees evenly split the wins.  Appellants’ amici won all their cases, while appellees’ amici lost all theirs.

Appellants in property law cases won 83.33% of their cases to only 16.67% for appellees.  Amici evenly split – appellants’ amici won one-third of their cases, and appellees’ amici also won one-third of theirs.  In tax law, appellants won only 26.32% to 73.68% for appellees.  Neither appellants’ nor appellees’ amici won any of their cases.

In wills and estates cases, appellants won 44.44% to 55.56% for appellees.  Appellants’ amici won all their cases, but appellees’ amici lost all theirs.  It was the same way in election law – appellants’ amici won a clean sweep, while appellees’ amici lost them all.  In election law overall, appellants won 60% to 40% for appellees.

Join us back here later in the week as we continue our examination of the amicus data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Dirk DBQ (no changes).

 

This week, we’re looking at another issue in our ongoing examination of the data regarding amicus briefs at the Supreme Court.  Specifically, we’ll be comparing the percentage of amicus briefs supporting appellants and respondents which wound up on the winning side to the winning percentage of appellants and respondents overall.

Of course, this comparison is subject to a major objection: post hoc ergo propter hoc (you always know you’re in trouble when the fallacy is so old that there’s a Latin name for it).  Just because amicus briefs in a certain area of law have a higher winning percentage than parties on that side overall doesn’t prove that amicus briefs are actually contributing to the win – amici might be attracted by a position that’s likely to win already.  So we’ll bookmark that issue for a future post . . .

For constitutional law appellants, amici did slightly worse than appellants overall, winning 57.14% of their cases as opposed to 63.55% for appellants overall.  Appellees’ amici won half the time, while appellees overall won 36.45% of their cases.  In environmental law, appellants’ amici won 75% of their cases, as opposed to only 54.55% overall.  Appellees’ amici lost every case during these years, while appellees overall won 45.45%.

In civil procedure cases, appellants’ amici won 70% of their cases.  Appellants overall won only 52.67%.  Appellees’ amici won half their cases, while appellees overall won 47.33%.  Appellants’ amici in cases involving government and administrative law won 73.33% of their cases, while appellants overall won 63.16%.  Appellees’ amici won only 13.33% of their cases.  Appellees overall won 36.84%.

In arbitration law, appellants’ amici won all their cases, while appellants overall won 60%.  Appellees’ amici won none of their cases, while appellees overall won 40%.  In tort law, appellants won 58.52% of their cases to 41.48% for appellees.  Appellants’ amici won 84.13% of their cases, while appellees’ amici won only 26.67%.

In domestic relations cases, appellants won 60.98% to 39.02% for appellees.  Appellants’ amici in domestic relations cases won 55.56% of their cases, while appellees’ amici won 39.02%.  Only 32% of employment law appellants won to 68% for appellees.  No amicus briefs in employment cases won during these years on either the appellants or appellees’ side.

Join us back here next time as we conclude our trip through the various areas of law, looking at the amicus winning percentage data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by David Wilson (no changes).

Appellants’ and appellees’ amici had similar won-lost records overall in criminal cases from 2010 to 2020 – appellants won two-thirds of the time, and appellees’ amici won 69.23% of their cases.

Amicus briefs remained very (very) rare in criminal cases over the past eleven years, however.  All appellants’ amici in criminal procedure, sentencing law and habeas corpus cases wound up on the winning side.  Appellants’ amici in juvenile justice cases won two-thirds of the time, while appellants’ amici in constitutional law cases won only one-third of their cases.

Appellees’ amici in con law cases, on the other hand, struck out, losing all their cases.  Appellees’ amici in mental health cases won their cases cases, while appellees’ amici in habeas corpus cases won 88.89% of the time.

Join us back here later this week as we continue our examination of the amicus data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by David Wilson (no changes).

Between 2010 and 2020, 212 amicus briefs have been filed at the Court in civil cases.  Briefs supporting appellants have been on the winning side in 71.43% of cases, while briefs supporting appellees have prevailed in only 29.07%.

All appellants’ amici in four subjects prevailed: workers compensation, commercial law, property law and environmental law.  87.88% of appellants’ amici in tort cases won and 80% of domestic relations and civil procedure appellants’ amici did.  Two-thirds won in constitutional law and employment law.  Only 53.13% of appellants’ amici in government and administrative law won and only half in tax law did.

None of the appellees’ amici in workers compensation, insurance or environmental law won.  Appellees’ amici in constitutional law were 0-16.  Leaving aside the two successful appellees’ amici in secured transactions, government and administrative law was next at a 66.67% success rate.  Half of the appellees’ amici in tax law won.  One-third did in civil procedure, domestic relations and employment law.  Only 26.09% of appellees’ amici in tort law wound up winning.

Join us back here next time as we review the data for criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Gary Todd (no changes).

Only six amicus briefs were filed in criminal cases between 2000 and 2009.  Both appellants’ amici wound up winning their cases.  Three of four appellees’ amici prevailed as well.

Of the two winning appellants’ amici, one was in a criminal procedure case and one was in a case involving juvenile justice issues.  One amici supporting appellees in a violent crime case prevailed.  Two out of three amici supporting appellees in constitutional law cases prevailed as well.

Join us back here later this week as we review the data for the years 2010 through 2020.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Joseph Gage (no changes).

Between 2000 and 2009, 196 amicus briefs were filed in civil cases.  Appellants were far more likely to be on the winning side; appellants’ amici won 68% of the time (85 of 125 briefs) while appellees’ amici won only 36.62% of their cases (26 of 71).

Although in each case only a few briefs were filed, appellants’ amici were undefeated during these years in arbitration cases, workers compensation, commercial law, wills & estates and election law.  Appellants’ amici in constitutional law cases won 80% of the time.  Appellants’ amici in tort cases won 75.56%.  Employment law appellants’ amici won 75% of their cases.  Appellants’ amici in civil procedure cases won 73.33% of the time.  Appellants’ amici in domestic relations cases won only 60% of their cases, while appellants’ amici in government and administrative law cases won only 52.63%.  Appellants’ amici in insurance law, property law and tax law cases won less than half their cases.

Appellees’ amici lost all their cases in six areas of law – arbitration, domestic relations, employment law, commercial law, tax law and wills & estates law.  Appellees’ amici won two-thirds of their cases in constitutional law, government and administrative law and insurance law.  Appellees’ amici won half the time in workers compensation cases, but only won one-quarter of their cases in civil procedure.  Appellees’ amici in tort cases – the most common area of law for appellees’ filings – won only 19.23% of their cases.

Join us back here later today as we look at the criminal law data for the same years.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ken Lund (no changes).

Last time, we reviewed the data on the civil side for the years 1990-1999, looking at whether amici supporting appellants or appellees more frequently won in each area of civil law.  This time, we’re looking at the data from the criminal side for the same decade.

For the years 1990-1999, there were only 28 amicus briefs filed in criminal cases – 16 supporting appellants and 12 supporting appellees.  Appellants’ amici had a winning percentage of 60%, while 50% of appellees were on the winning side.

Nineteen of those 28 briefs were in constitutional law cases.  Amici were almost evenly matched – amici supporting appellants won 71.43% of the time, while appellees’ amici won 75% of their cases.  The few remaining briefs were scattered – two appellees’ amici in a habeas case lost; three amici in criminal procedure cases, two supporting appellants and one for appellees, all lost.  On the other hand, the one amicus in a case involving property crimes, who supported appellant, won.  The lone amicus in a sentencing law case supporting appellee and also won.

Join us back here next week as we turn our attention to the years 2000 through 2009.

Image courtesy of Flickr by R Boed (no changes).

Today, we’re beginning another inquiry in our ongoing look at the amicus data at the Court.  We’re looking at two questions, one decade at a time: (1) are amici supporting appellants or appellees more often on the winning side; and (2) one area of law at a time, do amici supporting appellants or amici supporting appellees have the higher winning percentage?  Thus, we take another incremental step (but not the final one) toward determining where amicus briefs are most effective.

Between 1990 and 1999, 178 amicus briefs were filed supporting appellants in civil cases and 78 were filed supporting appellees.  Overall, 72.82% of the appellants’ amici wound up on the winning side, while only 41.82% of the appellees won.

For the decade – leaving aside the areas of law in which only two or three briefs were filed – appellants in government and administrative law cases were the most successful amici, winning 87.5% of the time.  Tort appellants’ amici won 83.72% of their cases.  On the other edge of the spectrum, amici of insurance law appellants won only 58.33% of their cases and constitutional law appellants’ amici won only half the time.  Government and administrative law appellants’ amici were far more successful than appellees’ amici were – as mentioned above, appellants won 87.5% while appellees won none.  Tort appellants’ amici were far more successful than appellees too – 83.72% to 41.18%.  Winning percentages were quite close in three areas of law – civil procedure (66.67% for appellants’ amici, 66.67% for appellees’ amici), constitutional law (50% for appellants’ amici, 42.86% for appellees’ amici), and insurance law (58.33% for appellants’ amici, 61.11% for appellees’ amici).

Join us back here next time as we review the (sparse) data for amici in criminal cases during the 1990s.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Romain Pontida (no changes).

This time, we’re reviewing the data on amicus briefs in criminal cases between 2010 and 2020.

Seven constitutional law cases drew at least one amicus brief.  Four habeas corpus cases drew at least one amicus brief.  Three juvenile justice cases drew one or more amici.  Two criminal procedure cases did.  One case each involving sentencing law and mental health issues drew at least one amicus brief.

Ten amicus briefs were filed in habeas corpus cases – only 1 supporting appellants, 9 supporting appellees.  Nine briefs were filed in constitutional law cases – six supporting appellants, only three for appellees.  Four briefs were filed in criminal procedure cases, all supporting appellants.  Three briefs were filed in juvenile justice cases – once again, all supporting appellants.  One brief each was filed in a sentencing law case and a mental health case – one for appellant in sentencing law and one for appellees in a mental health case.

Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the amicus curiae data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Adam Moss (no changes).

This week, we’re concluding our review of the amicus data by areas of law, asking (1) which areas of law generated the most amicus briefs; and (2) how many amicus briefs on average per case were filed attacking the decision and supporting it?

Between 2010 and 2020, more amicus briefs were filed in tort cases than in any other area of law – 25 cases in all.  Twenty-two cases involved government and administrative law.  There were 12 civil procedure cases and 11 constitutional law cases.  Nine cases involved domestic relations issues, five each were in workers comp and tax law cases, there were four cases involving employment law and three involving insurance law.

Fifty-six amicus briefs were filed in tort cases – 33 supporting appellants and 23 appellees.  For appellant’s briefs, government and administrative law was right behind.  Thirty-two amicus briefs supported appellants and only 15 supported appellees.  In constitutional law, 30 amici supported appellants and 16 were for appellees.  Twenty-two amicus briefs were filed in civil procedure cases – 10 supporting appellants and 12 for appellees.  A dozen amicus briefs were filed in tax cases – 7 supporting appellants, 5 for appellees.  Eleven briefs (each) were filed in workers comp and domestic relations cases.  In workers comp, 7 briefs supported appellants and 4 for appellees.  In domestic relations, 5 supported appellants and 6 for appellees.  There were seven amicus briefs in cases involving employment law – four supporting appellants and three for respondents.  Three amicus briefs were filed in cases involving insurance law – all three supported appellees.

Join us back here next time as we review the data for criminal cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by David Wilson (no changes).