Law Firm Fantasy League

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

“You’ve gotta win Hagedorn”

So remarked an eminent appellate attorney recently, and such has indeed been the case to date in the most contentious supreme court decisions of the 2020-21 term.  This is glaringly obvious in Table 1, which shows how regularly each justice has voted with the majority in the seven 4-3 decisions filed as of April 13, 2021.  Justice Hagedorn’s vote has been essential in every one of these decisions—and in this regard no other justice is close.[Continue Reading…]

Law Firm Fantasy League

This week’s sole decision bestowed points on three teams.  The Writs—with five points from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty’s brief and oral argument in Timothy Zignego v. Wisconsin Elections Commission—still find themselves in last place, but now with a more respectable score.  Higher up the standings, the Affirmed tightened their grip a bit on second place with two points from a pair of amicus briefs by Stafford Rosenbaum and Foley & Lardner.

Click here for the complete, updated standing.

Oral Advocates at the Wisconsin Supreme Court: An Update for 2018-19 and 2019-20

A post toward the end of 2018 studied the attorneys who had delivered oral arguments at the supreme court over the past ten terms (2008-09 through 2017-18).  Today, we’ll update these findings with a supplement devoted to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 terms—a period during which 177 lawyers presented one or more oral arguments.[1]  Six of these advocates, shown in the following chart, appeared four times before the justices, while a total of 12 appeared at least three times, and 36 at least twice.

As one would expect, attorneys from the Department of Justice participated in more oral arguments than did their colleagues from other agencies or private firms.  Of the 231 oral arguments delivered by the 177 attorneys noted above, 54 of these arguments (23%) were presented by advocates from the Department of Justice (45 arguments from the Attorney General’s Office and 9 from the Solicitor General’s Office).  If we limit our focus to just the most active attorneys—those responsible for at least two oral arguments—the Department of Justice’s prominence is more striking still.  Government and private lawyers in this category accounted for 90 oral arguments, and 41% (37/90) of these arguments came from the DOJ’s attorneys (Table 1).[2][Continue Reading…]

Law Firm Fantasy League

Three teams gained points from this week’s decisions, with the Waivers making the biggest move, thanks to five points from von Briesen & Roper for a brief and oral argument in Christus Lutheran Church of Appleton v. Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  The Affirmed picked up a single point in the same case for an amicus brief by Axley Brynelson, which nudged them into second place, one point ahead of the Citations and two points clear of the Waivers.  Although the Writs remain in the cellar, they did add two points to their total by means of an amicus brief and oral argument from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty in Jere Fabick v. Tony Evers.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

Law Firm Fantasy League

No decisions were filed this week–hence no change in the standings.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Statistics, 1960-61

These tables are derived from information contained in 235 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that were turned up in a Nexis-Uni search for decisions filed between September 1, 1960, and August 31, 1961.  The total of 235 decisions does not include rulings arising from various petitions, motions, applications and the like (generally disposed of without oral argument and in short per curiam decisions).

The list of cases returned by Nexis-Uni included two entries for Kraus v. Mueller (12 Wis. 2d 430)—the first decision filed on February 7, 1961, and the second on March 4, 1961 (which vacated the earlier mandate and remanded the case with new instructions).  I included only the March 4 decision in the following tables.

The tables are available as a complete set and by individual topic in the subsets listed below.

Four-to-Three Decisions
Decisions Arranged by Vote Split
Frequency of Justices in the Majority
Distribution of Opinion Authorship
Frequency of Agreement Between Pairs of Justices
Average Time Between Oral Argument and Opinions Authored by Each Justice

Law Firm Fantasy League

The Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office showed no signs of relenting in the early spring offensive that they launched last week.  On Thursday they added 10 points to their league-leading total by means of a brief, oral argument, and favorable outcome in State v. Mark D. Jensen.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.

The Solicitor General’s Ghost

The creation in 2015 of Wisconsin’s Office of the Solicitor General drew vigorous reaction across the political spectrum, for much of the new office’s caseload consisted of challenges to policies of the Obama administration.  Established by the state’s Republican Attorney General (Brad Schimel) during the administration of Republican Governor Scott Walker, the solicitor general’s office was described by Republicans as an essential tool for safeguarding state independence from federal overreach.  “Attorney General Schimel’s interest in joining multistate lawsuits that protect the powers constitutionally delegated to the states is also the people’s interest,” explained Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for the Walker administration. “There’s nothing frivolous about protecting and preserving the rule of law.”[1]  [Continue Reading…]

Law Firm Fantasy League

This past week the Gavels of the State Public Defender’s Office added 16 points to their league-leading total (with a brief, oral argument and a 3-3 decision in Portage County v. E. R. R. and a brief, oral argument, and favorable decision in State v. Anthony James Jendusa).  Meanwhile, Reinhart Boerner Van Duren delivered a point to the Waivers with an amicus brief in Portage County v. E. R. R.

Click here for the complete, updated standings.