Last week we looked at the frequently heard claim that getting Supreme Court review of an unpublished decision of the Court of Appeal is a hopeless task.  This week, we’re looking at a similar bit of conventional wisdom – the Supreme Court doesn’t review unanimous decisions from the Court of Appeal. In the table below, we report the year-by-year percentage of the Court’s civil decisions which had a dissenter at the Court of Appeal.  In other words, if it’s true that the Court doesn’t review unanimous decisions, we would expect the graph line to be at or near 100% every…
Desperately searching for COVID-safe CLE hours?  The North Carolina Court of Appeals is offering appellate continuing legal education courses until the end of February 2021.   According to the Court’s press release, the on-demand video courses are available for free to licensed North Carolina attorneys seeking CLE credit, North Carolina paralegals seeking CPE credit, and the general public.  The courses are divided into six one-hour videos that cover various topics including emerging appellate issues, appellate practice and procedure, ethics, and technology.  Five course videos are available now, and the sixth (covering advanced appellate topics) will be posted later this month. I…
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a series of decisions addressing the Article III standing of consumer plaintiffs alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The court—in five opinions resolving six different appeals arising out of putative class actions—revisited the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), clarifying how an FDCPA plaintiff must allege and prove an “injury in fact” sufficient to establish subject-matter jurisdiction in a federal court. Two of the five opinions resulted in converting Rule 12(b)(6)…
Last time, we reviewed the year-by-year percentage of the Supreme Court’s civil caseload that is drawn from Appellate Court cases with a dissenter to evaluate the claim that a petition for leave to appeal from a unanimous decision is a hopeless exercise.  This time, we’re looking at the Court’s criminal cases.  Just like last time, the graph reports the percentage of cases with a dissenter below, so if the Court only reviews divided decisions, it should be close to 100%. It isn’t.  The share of divided Appellate Court decisions was 21.74% in 1990 and 25.86% in 1991, but fell for…
Last week, we addressed the frequently heard claim that seeking Supreme Court review of an unpublished decision from the Appellate Court is a hopeless task.  This week, we’re addressing a similar claim – that the Supreme Court doesn’t review unanimous decisions.  Below, we’ll address the data from civil cases, and in our next post, we’ll look at the criminal cases. In Table 1689, we report the percentage of the Court’s civil decisions every year that had a dissent below.  If the claim we’re analyzing is correct – that only divided decisions get reviewed – then the number should be somewhere…
The old adage tells us that you can’t fight city hall, but a recent decision from Wisconsin’s court of appeals, which handed a victory to property taxpayers who received a favorable decision from a board of review, teaches that sometimes city hall can’t fight back. In State ex rel. City of Waukesha v. City of Waukesha Board of Review, No. 2019AP1479 (Nov. 18, 2020), a decision from District II written by Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer and joined by Judges Mark Gundrum and Jeff Davis, the court of appeals held that the City of Waukesha had no right to seek…
It is hard to believe that it has been three months since Justice Ginsburg passed away.  The NCBA Appellate Practice Section invites you to attend a virtual presentation celebrating  her life, achievements, and legacy.  Join Dean Emerita Suzanne Reynolds as she leads a discussion among Ryan Park, Neil Siegel, and Ruthanne Deutsch about their experience clerking for Justice Ginsburg, her tremendous legacy to the legal profession, and her impact on them personally. The event will take place this Friday at 12:00 p.m.  Register by clicking here, and note that registration for the event closes tomorrow (Thursday) at…
Over the weekend, the last undecided race for North Carolina’s appellate courts was resolved when Chief Justice Cheri Beasley conceded the race to Senior Associate—and Chief Justice-Elect—Paul Newby.   The race was extraordinarily close, with Chief Justice-Elect Newby ultimately prevailing by a margin of 50.0037% to 49.9963%. After two rounds of recounts, and with various protests still pending, Chief Justice Beasley and Chief Justice-Elect Newby announced the amicable resolution on social media.  The Justices’ dignified and measured responses to this most unusual scenario over the past several weeks reflect the high degree of professionalism for which our Supreme Court is…
Last time, we showed that for the most part since 1990, anywhere from twenty to forty-five percent of the Court’s civil decisions have arisen from unpublished decisions at the Court of Appeal.  This time we’re looking at the Court’s criminal docket. Unpublished Court of Appeal decisions are far from the exception in criminal cases – they’re the rule.  In 1991, 91.25% of the Court’s criminal decisions were unpublished below.  That fell to 70% by 1993.  Two years later, the unpublished portion was 81.63%, but after that, it settled in for the most part in the 45-65% range.  In 1999 and…
One bit of conventional wisdom that’s frequently heard about appellate review in California is that if a Court of Appeal opinion isn’t published, seeking Supreme Court review is a hopeless task.  This week, we’re looking at the data to see if that’s true – civil cases in this post, criminal in the next. The short answer is – it isn’t.  In 1990, one-third of the Court’s civil cases were unpublished below.  That dropped to 15% in 1991 but was between 25 and 45% from 1992 to 2005.  In 2006, the unpublished share was 22.64%, and in 2007 it dropped a…