Text Mining at the Wisconsin Supreme Court: An Update

Numerous researchers have used computer programs to scrutinize large volumes of text, searching for patterns or tendencies that might otherwise escape detection.  One such program is Linguistic Inquiry Word Count software (LIWC), employed by scholars in diverse fields, including the legal profession.[1]  Among the findings were a pair of SCOWstats posts in the spring of 2019,[2] reporting on LIWC’s analysis of Wisconsin Supreme Court opinions issued from 2015-16 through 2017-18.  Three terms have passed since then, and with new justices joining the court,[3] it’s time for another look at their labors through the lens of LIWC.[4][Continue Reading…]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1955-56

These tables are derived from information contained in 226 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Nexis Uni search for decisions filed between September 1, 1955, and August 31, 1956.  The total of 226 decisions does not include various orders pertaining to petitions, motions, applications, and the like (generally disposed of without oral argument and in short per curiam decisions). [Continue Reading…]

Law Firms and the Justices: An Update for 2018-19 through 2020-21

In the spring of 2019 we examined the success rates of law firms most active in the Wisconsin Supreme Court over the previous decade (2008-09 through 2017-18), and today we’ll update that post by exploring data from the most recent three terms.[1]  … [Continue reading]

Bloc Cohesion in 2020-21

Judge Jill Karofsky’s electoral victory over incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly last year prompted a post speculating on the impact that this might have during the court’s 2020-21 term.  More specifically, the post focused on 4-3 decisions and the … [Continue reading]

Recapping the 2020-21 Fantasy League Season

Once again the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office ended the season atop the fantasy league standings—despite the effort of the Competition Committee to bolster the other teams by adding more law firms to their rosters for the 2020-21 … [Continue reading]

The 2020-21 Term: Some More Impressions

In this third post assessing the justices’ activities during the now-completed 2020-21 term, we’ll take a look at four topics that attracted attention last year: (1) fractured decisions; (2) frequency of separate opinions; (3) length of decisions; … [Continue reading]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 2020-21

These tables are derived from information contained in 51 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions filed between September 1, 2020, and the end of the court’s term in the summer of 2021.  The total of 51 decisions omits orders pertaining to various motions, … [Continue reading]

The Supreme Court’s 2020-21 Term: Some Initial Impressions

Now that the justices have issued their final substantive decision of the 2020-21 term, the way is clear for a statistical assessment of their work over the past 12 months.  Today’s post, the first in a series, focuses on the number of decisions … [Continue reading]

Law Firm Fantasy League

No decisions were filed this week (apart from a disciplinary ruling)--hence, no change in the standings. … [Continue reading]

A Noteworthy Article

Let me recommend a provocative article by Skylar Croy (a former law clerk and executive assistant to then-Chief Justice Patience Roggensack): “The Demise of the Law-Developing Function: A Case Study of the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” published in … [Continue reading]