This week, we’re looking at the relationship between lag time – the number of days from the grant of review by the Supreme Court to the final decision – and the result in the case.  One might expect that lag time has very little relationship to the case result – surely it’s determined by the complexity of the issues and facts and the Court’s caseload.  But is that really true? In fact, there is a moderately strong relationship between lag time and result in civil cases: affirmances were pending longer in 7 of the past 10 years.  In many years,…
The Supreme Court of Virginia’s argument schedule for next week is up. Here are a few of the cases that caught our eye and why: NC Financial Solutions of Utah, LLC v. Commonwealth: A consumer-finance case raising Federal Arbitration Act and Virginia Consumer Protection Act issues. Strong judge (Judge Ortiz from Fairfax) and a chance that SG Toby Heytens argues on behalf of Virginia. Barbour v. Carilion Medical Center: Judging from the assignments of error, it looks like the trial judge ruled as a matter of law that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent in  a medical malpractice case?…
After revisiting the Tail End, I realized that there’s only one way to keep me honest about how I’m spending my limited reading time: transparency. So I’m going to start keeping a public list of what I’m reading. As an added benefit, every time I stumble across something good I can let you all know. With that background, here’s last month’s list:…
This past year presented some unique challenges for the judiciary, and specifically for the Supreme Court of Texas.  The court confronted a pandemic, a ransomeware attack, and some unusual election-year court filings.  In spite of these challenges, the court persevered and performed.  Here’s what my initial calculations show: During the 2020 calendar year, the court disposed of 97 causes, consisting of 82 petitions for review, 12 original proceedings, and 3 certified questions.  By comparison, last year, the court disposed of 88 causes, and in 2018, the court disposed of 98 causes. 30 of the causes were disposed of by per…
This time, we’re comparing the lag time from grant to decision in criminal cases to the ultimate case result.  In order not to bias the data, we begin by eliminating the death penalty and habeas corpus cases, where the determinants of lag time are quite different than non-death criminal cases. Once again, there is a strong relationship between the lag time and the ultimate case result: in eight of the past ten years, affirmances have been pending longer in criminal cases than reversals.  In 2011, affirmances averaged 644.67 days to 488.93 for reversals.  In 2014, affirmances averaged 699.38 days to…
Last time, we showed that there is a mild relationship between the total time pending from the grant of the petition for leave to appeal until final decision by the Supreme Court and the ultimate case result in civil cases: more often than not, affirmances took longer.  Below, we’re reviewing the Court’s criminal cases. In criminal cases, there is a quite strong relationship between lag time and case result, but the relationship goes in the opposite direction: in nine of the past ten years, criminal reversals have been pending longer than affirmances. Once again, the differences were typically not trivial.…
This week, we’re addressing a new issue: does the lag time from the grant of a party’s petition for leave to appeal to a final decision from the Supreme Court tell us anything about what the result is likely to be?  We begin with the civil docket for the years 2011 through 2020. What we see in Table 1693 is that there does seem to be at least a mild relationship between lag time and result in civil cases (in the Table, “A” is affirmances, “R” is reversals, and “AR” is split results – affirmed in part, reversed in part). …
At the stroke of midnight, North Carolina’s judiciary entered a new era, with many appellate justices and judges taking the oath office from their homes.  This age-old changing of the guard included Chief Justice Paul Newby being sworn in as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  While COVID has thrown wrinkles into many of the Court’s traditions, the significance of this undertaking is illustrated by this photo of Chief Justice Newby signing his oath of office.  On January 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. the Supreme Court will hold a remote investiture ceremony for Chief Justice…
Jump To: Table of Contents | Civil Decisions | Short Civil Decisions Good afternoon. Below are our last summaries of 2020, which include all civil decisions released by the Court of Appeal for Ontario for the weeks of December 21 and 28, 2020. Topics covered included human rights in the employment context, the refusal to enforce a foreign letter of request in the family law context, a breach of contract decision in the real estate development context issued by the Court in French (summarized by us in English), interveners in the administrative law context (ancillary fees at Ontario colleges and…
In a new “In the Balance” podcast, Justice Matthew McDermott, the newest member of the Iowa Supreme Court, talks about growing up in Carroll, Iowa, attending law school in California, and his path from a trial lawyer to the pinnacle of Iowa’s judiciary. The podcast, one in a series of monthly reports on the Iowa courts produced by Iowa Judicial Branch Public Information Assistant Marissa Gaal, is the third interview with a member of the Court. Chief Justice Susan Christensen and Justice Edward Mansfield were previously interviewed. McDermott was appointed to the Court in April by Gov. Kim Reynolds following…