Illinois Supreme Court Review

Understanding Appellate Decision Making

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Today, we’re finishing our review of the agreement rates for the Justices between 2014 and 2018.  If you get the impression reading the data below that the agreement rates for criminal cases below are consistently lower than the agreement rates on the civil side during the same years reviewed here, you’re right.  I calculated an “average agreement rate” for each Justice – add up the agreement rates for each Justice below and divide by…
For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the data for the Justices’ agreement rates in non-unanimous cases – in other words, how often did each possible combination of the seven Justices vote the same way in a case which had at least one dissenter.  Today, we’re looking at criminal cases between 2008 and 2013.  For purposes of the agreement rates, the only thing we’re looking at is the outcome – even if Justice…
Last time, we reviewed the Justices’ agreement rates in divided criminal decisions between 1996 and 2001.  In this post, we’re looking at the data for the years 2002 to 2007. Because Justice Burke only joined the Court in 2006, her agreement rates vary widely among her colleagues – Justice Freeman 100%, Justices Fitzgerald, Garman and Thomas 44.44%, Justice Karmeier 33.33% and Justice Kilbride 22.22%.  Justice Freeman had an agreement rate of 88.37% with Justice Rarick,…
Today, we’re continuing our look at the agreement rates for every possible combination of Justices in criminal cases by reviewing the data for the years 1996 to 2001. Justice Freeman’s highest agreement rate during these years was with Justice Fitzgerald, 86.96%.  Justice Rathje was next at 74.07%.  Three Justices were in the sixties – Bilandic (69.08%), Thomas (65.22%) and Nickels (63.49%).  Two more were in the fifties – Justices Kilbride (56.52%) and Heiple (56.49%).  Finally,…
I’m delighted to welcome three new experienced and talented appellate specialists to our growing San Francisco office!  Here’s the firm’s press release – Horvitz & Levy Expands San Francisco Office with Three Experienced Appellate Hires Bay Area Office for Nation’s Largest Appellate Boutique Offers Unmatched Expertise Horvitz & Levy LLP, the country’s largest boutique law firm dedicated to civil appeals and trial  consulting, has expanded its San Francisco presence with three strategic hires. The firm…
Tuesday, March 12, I’ll be a panelist for a Strafford webinar on Data Analytics and Litigation.  The other two panelists are Steve Embry, publisher of Tech Crossroads (and a former colleague of mine many years ago) and Evan Moses, a partner at Ogletree Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart.  The time is 10:00 – 11:30 Pacific.  Here’s the link and the full description is below.  This CLE webinar will guide litigators on how to use big…
Today, we start the second part of our ongoing analysis of agreement rates among the Justices since 1990 – the criminal docket.  We proceed just as we did with the civil docket, tracking agreement rates in non-unanimous cases.  “Disagreement” is defined as two Justices not voting exactly the same way with respect to the judgment – in other words, if one Justice votes to affirm and another to affirm in part and reverse in part,…
For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing the Justices’ agreement rates in divided civil cases across the period 1990 to 2018, working six years at a time.  Today, we’ve reached our fifth and last post on the civil docket, reviewing the years 2014 to 2018.  As we did last time, to facilitate comparisons for a single Justice and his or her colleagues, we group the results Justice by Justice. Justice Burke’s highest agreement rate…
Yesterday, we reviewed the Justices’ agreement rates in civil cases for the years 2002 through 2007.  Today, we’re looking at the agreement rates for the next six years – 2008 through 2013, with one change.  Since we’re now getting into a period where nearly all the current members of the Court had begun their tenures, rather than presenting data several combinations at a time, we reorganize the data to compare a single Justice’s agreement rates…
Last week, we began our review, six years at a time, of the Justices’ agreement rates in civil cases.  First, we addressed the years 1990 through 1995, and then, we looked at the years 1996 through 2001.  Today, we’re turning our attention to the civil agreement rates for the years 2002 to 2007. During these years, Justices Burke and Fitzgerald had relatively high agreement rates with several Justices.  Justices Burke and Freeman agreed 88.89% of…