The End is Near?

Although the court’s term is said to end on June 30, decisions commonly trickle (and sometimes pour) out well into July.  Two readers, wondering if their cases still have a chance to be decided this term, have asked how frequently the court has filed decisions long past June 30.  As the question may also have occurred to others, let’s take a look at the court’s track record in this regard over the last two decades.  We’ll focus on (1) the number of decisions filed after June 30 each term, (2) the percentage that this number represented of all the decisions that term, and (3) the filing date of the term’s concluding decision.[Continue Reading…]

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s flurry of decisions nourished all four teams, led by the Waivers with 18 points from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren (for a brief and favorable outcome in Friends of the Black River Forest v. DNR and a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in Wisconsin Property Tax Consultants, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue) and one point from Hawks Quindel (for an amicus brief in Joshua L. Kaul v. Frederick Prehn). 

Next came the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office with 10 points (for briefs and oral arguments in State v. X.S. and State v. Richard Michael Arrington), followed by the Writs with seven points (for a brief and oral argument from Pines Bach in Friends of the Black River Forest, an amicus brief from Pines Bach in Kaul, and an amicus brief from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty in Wisconsin Property Tax Consultants).  Even the Affirmed appeared on the score card with a point from Stafford Rosenbaum for an amicus brief in Kaul.

Click here for the updated standings.

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s decisions rewarded the Affirmed with 10 points—five from O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing for a brief and oral argument in Great Lakes Excavating, Inc. v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. and five from Foley & Lardner for a brief and oral argument in Container Life Cycle Management, LLC v. DNR.  However, the total was not enough to overtake the third-place Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office, who added two points for an amicus brief and oral argument in Sauk County v. S. A. M.  The same case also provided seven points to the first-place Waivers, earned by von Briesen & Roper for a brief, oral argument, and partially-favorable outcome.

Click here for the complete standings.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1947-48

These tables are derived from information contained in 207 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Nexis Uni search for decisions filed between September 1, 1947, and August 31, 1948.  The total of 207 decisions does not include various orders pertaining to petitions, motions, applications, and disciplinary matters involving lawyers and judges. [Continue Reading…]

Law Firm Fantasy League

The Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office gained five points this week for a brief and oral argument in State v. Valiant M. Green.

Click here for the complete standings.

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s decisions yielded a point to the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office for an amicus brief in Sheboygan County v. M.W.

Click here for the current standings.

A 4-3 Surge

One of the most noteworthy features of the decisions filed this term by the Wisconsin Supreme Court is the unprecedented percentage of 4-3 outcomes.  Thirteen times already the justices have split 4-3, accounting for nearly half (46%) of the 28 cases decided as of June 6—by far the largest proportion of 4-3 decisions in the 73 years covered by SCOWstats.  The previous high, 37%, came just the year before—itself a substantial increase over the entry for any of the other years in Table 1.

Meanwhile, 6-1 and 5-2 decisions have become extremely rare—jointly amounting to only 11% of all decisions to date.  Table 1, which surveys the past two decades, reveals just how unusual these developments are—both the swelling percentage of 4-3 decisions and the evaporating total of cases decided by 6-1 or 5-2 margins.[Continue Reading…]

Law Firm Fantasy League

Three of the league’s four teams gained points from this week’s pair of decisions.  The Waivers padded their lead with 12 points—10 from von Briesen & Roper for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Inc. v. Society Insurance and one each from Boardman & Clark and Quarles & Brady for amicus briefs in the same case.

The Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office did nearly as well, collecting 10 points for a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in State v. Scott W. Forrett, which moved them ahead of the idle Affirmed into third place—though not yet within striking distance of the Writs, who picked up a point from Michael Best & Friederich for an amicus brief in Colectivo Coffee.

Click here for the complete standings.

 

Law Firm Fantasy League

The Waivers gained five points this week from a brief and oral argument by Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin, & Brown in State v. Theophilous Ruffin, thereby padding their lead over the second-place Writs.

Click here for the complete standings.

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s lone decision did not provide points for any of the teams–hence, no change in the standings.