Yesterday, we reviewed trends in the Illinois Supreme Court’s special concurrences in civil cases.  Today, we turn to the criminal docket.

We report the data in Table 344 below.  We noted yesterday that special concurrences tended to be somewhat longer in non-unanimous decisions, speculating that concurrences might be used at times to respond to points


Last week, we completed our examination of trends in the length of the Illinois Supreme Court’s majority opinions.  This week, we turn our attention to the Court’s special concurrences.

First, a preliminary question.  Concurring opinions are a somewhat controversial subject in appellate law; some people have suggested that they tend to detract from the impact

5998737609_6e8f69fed7_zLast week, we continued our close look at the individual Justices’ writing with a review of the majority opinions in civil cases between 2005 and 2009. This week, we consider which Justices wrote the longest and shortest (and most frequent) special concurrences and dissents during those years.

Between 2005 and 2009, Justice Kilbride wrote the

5985770093_b422f8930a_zYesterday, we began looking at the Justices’ writing of majority opinions during the initial five years of our study period, 2000-2004. Today, we turn to special concurrences.

Special concurrences are a rare phenomenon at the Court. Interestingly, Justice Charles Freeman wrote nearly three times as many concurrences in civil cases as any other Justice on

497364007_b28f03366a_zYesterday, we addressed the length of majority opinions at the Illinois Supreme Court between 2000 and 2014. Today, we turn to concurrences and dissents.

Because they are structured differently, we expect special concurrences and dissents to follow the lead of the majority opinion in the same case: longer where the case is more complex, shorter