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Yesterday, we reviewed Justice Garman’s civil majority and dissenting opinions.  Today, we’re looking at Justice Garman’s criminal opinions.

Justice Garman has written 38 majority opinions in constitutional law cases.  She has written 14 majorities in sentencing cases, 13 in habeas corpus cases, eight in cases involving juvenile justice issues, six in cases regarding sex offenses, five in death penalty cases, two in cases involving violent crimes and one case involving property crimes.

Justice Garman wrote 28 majority opinions in criminal procedure cases.  She wrote three mental health decisions, two cases involving drug offenses and one majority opinion each in cases
Continue Reading Reviewing the Tenure of Justice Rita Garman (Part 6 of 6)

This week, we’re finishing our six-part review of Justice Garman’s tenure by taking a closer look at her authored opinions.

Through the end of last week, Justice Garman has written 107 majority opinions and 28 dissents.

Justice Garman has written 24 majority opinions in tort cases.  She has written 18 majorities in civil procedure cases and thirteen each in constitutional law and government and administrative law cases.  She has written seven majority opinions involving insurance law and workers compensation law.  She has written five majority opinions in commercial law cases, three involving secured transactions and one employment law case.

Justice
Continue Reading Reviewing the Tenure of Justice Rita Garman (Part 5 of 6)

This week, we’re launching a series of six-part posts reviewing the tenure of each of the current Justices of the Supreme Court.  We’ll be posting in order of length of service (although the Chief Justice is technically the senior Justice, we’ll be proceeding by the date of each Justice’s appointment).  We begin with Justice Rita Garman, who took her seat on February 1, 2001.
From that time to date, Justice Garman has participated in 786 civil cases.  Her busiest year was 2004, when she was on 52 civil cases.  The numbers remained in the forties and low fifties every year
Continue Reading Reviewing the Tenure of Justice Rita Garman (Part 1 of 6)

In this post, we’re reviewing the Justice Garman’s history writing opinions.
From taking her seat in 2001 through the end of last week, Justice Garman had written 107 majority opinions in civil cases.  She has written only 9 special concurrences and has written 28 dissents (we’ll be addressing how often Justice Garman is in the majority in a later post).  2018 was her biggest year for special concurrences with 2 – otherwise, she’s never written more than 1 in a given year.  She wrote 5 dissents each in 2003 and 2006, but no more than one a year since 2012. 
Continue Reading Reviewing the Tenure of Justice Rita Garman (Part 2 of 6)

In our last two posts, we reviewed Justice Rita Garman’s caseload since taking her seat in 2001 and her history with writing opinions.  This time, we’re looking at Justice Garman’s voting record.
Through the end of last week, Justice Garman has voted to affirm civil decisions 335 times.  She has cast 107 split votes (affirm in part, reverse/vacate/etc. in part) and has voted to reverse in full 333 times.
For the most part (as one might expect from those career totals), Justice Garman’s votes have been fairly evenly split between affirm and reverse year by year.  The principal outliers are
Continue Reading Reviewing the Tenure of Justice Rita Garman (Part 3 of 6)

This time, we’re reviewing the data on how frequently Justice Garman has voted with the majority during her tenure.  If you’re comparing this data to earlier posts, note one difference – here, we are looking at the entire civil and criminal caseloads, including unanimous decisions, rather than asking the percentage of divided decisions in which Justice Garman joined the minority.  Since the Supreme Court’s unanimity rate is nearly always quite high, we would expect the numbers to be in ninety-percent range.
Across her entire tenure, Justice Garman has voted with the majority in 92.88% of all civil cases.  (Note that
Continue Reading Reviewing the Tenure of Justice Rita Garman (Part 4 of 6)

Between 2010 and 2020, the Court decided 28 civil procedure cases from the First District: five from Division One, six from Division Two, four from Division Three, three from Division Four and five each from Divisions Five and Six.  The Court decided 13 civil procedure cases from the Second District.  Three cases originated in the Third District.  Eight cases were taken from the Fourth District and nine from the Fifth.

Two courts had all of their civil procedure cases reversed during the period – Division Three of the First District and the Third District.  The reversal rate for Division Two
Continue Reading Was the Supreme Court More Likely to Reverse Civil Procedure Decisions From Certain Districts (2010-2020)?

Between 2010 and 2020, the Supreme Court decided 61 civil procedure cases.  The reversal rate was up a bit to 59.02%.
In 2010 and 2011, the Court reversed in all its civil procedure cases.  The rate fell to two-thirds in 2012 and one-third in 2013.  In 2014, the reversal rate was 50%.  It was 60% in 2015 before falling to zero in 2016.  The Court decided no civil procedure cases in 2017.  In 2018, the rate was 42.86%.  In 2019, it was 75%.  For 2020, the rate fell to 50%.

The Court decided substantially more cases won by the plaintiffs
Continue Reading Does the Winner at the Appellate Court Impact the Likely Winner in Civil Procedure Cases (2010-2020)?

This time, we’re beginning a new multi-part series of posts similar to our earlier work on the Court’s tort docket.  In this and five posts to come, we’ll do a deep dive review on the Court’s civil procedure cases since 1990.
Between 1990 and 1999, the Court decided 117 civil procedure cases and reversed in 52.99% of them.  Measured from one year to the next, the reversal rate was all over the map – from 50% in 1990 to 92.31% a year later; down to 37.5% by 1993, but back up to 57.14% in 1996 before falling back to 25%
Continue Reading Does the Winner at the Appellate Court Impact the Likely Winner in Civil Procedure Cases (1990-1999)?

Between 2000 and 2009, the Court decided 59 civil procedure cases.  The reversal rate was up a bit from its level in the nineties – the Court reversed 57.63% of those decisions.  Once again, yearly reversal rates were up and down – 60% in 2000, 33.33% the following year; 71.43% in 2002 and 2003, 25% in 2004; steadily rising from 2005 to 2007 – 50% to 66.67% to 83.33% – but then down to 50% in 2008 and 60% in 2009.

The Court decided 26 civil procedure cases won by the defendants below and 31 plaintiffs’ wins.  For the decade,
Continue Reading Does the Winner at the Appellate Court Impact the Likely Winner in Civil Procedure Cases (2000-2009)?

This time, we continue our review of the data for the years 1990 through 1999.
The Court decided a total of 41 civil procedure cases from Cook County’s First District: seven from Division One, five from Division Two, ten from Division Three, nine from Division Four, six from Division Five and four from Division Six.  The Court decided 21 cases from the Second District.  Only nine civil procedure cases were taken from the Third District.  Ten originated in the Fourth District.  Finally, the Court decided 24 civil procedure cases from the Fifth District.

The reversal rates in the Districts and
Continue Reading Was the Supreme Court More Likely to Reverse Civil Procedure Decisions From Certain Districts (1990-1999)?

Between 2000 and 2009, the Court decided 21 civil procedure cases from the First District – two from Division One, five from Division Two, four each from Divisions Three, Four and Five and two from Division Six.  The Court decided seven cases from the Second District.  Only four cases came from the Third District.  The Court decided seven cases from the Fourth District and 13 from the Fifth District.

In the First District, Divisions One and Three each had a reversal rate of 100%.  The reversal rate in Division Four was 75%.  The rate for Divisions Five and Six was
Continue Reading Was the Supreme Court More Likely to Reverse Civil Procedure Decisions From Certain Districts (2000-2009)?

Reprinted with permission from the my article in the October 2017 issue of ALI CLE’s The Practical Lawyer.
“In God we trust. All others must bring data.”
— Professor William Edwards Deming
All of us who often speak and write about the ongoing revolution in data analytics for litigation have heard it from at least some of our fellow lawyers: “Interesting, but so what?”
Here’s the answer in a nutshell. One often hears that business hates litigation because it’s enormously expensive and risky. There’s a degree of truth to that, but it’s far from the whole truth. Business doesn’t
Continue Reading Making Sense of the Legal Analytics Revolution (Part 1 of 2)

Reprinted with permission from the October 2017 issue of ALI CLE’s The Practical Lawyer.
On Lex Machina’s platform, counsel can use the “motion kickstarter” to survey recent motions before the assigned trial judge. The “motion chain” links together the briefing and the eventual order for each motion, so counsel can identify the arguments which have succeeded in recent cases, and review both the parties’ briefs and the judge’s order.
Ravel Law offers extensive resources to help counsel in crafting their arguments. As counsel does her research, Ravel Law shows visualizations demonstrating how different passages of a case have been
Continue Reading Making Sense of the Legal Analytics Revolution (Part 2 of 2)

Between 2010 and 2020, the Supreme Court decided 36 tort cases from Chicago’s First District: three from Division One, six from Division Two, eight from Division three, nine from Division Four, six from Division Five and four from Division Six.  Eleven cases arose from the Second District.  The Court decided five tort cases each from the Third and Fourth Districts.  Ten cases arose from the Fifth District.

Division Two of the First District fared worst over the past eleven years: 83.33% of the tort decisions were reversed.  Two-thirds of tort cases from Divisions One and Four were reversed.  Half of
Continue Reading Where Did the Supreme Court’s Tort Cases Come From 2010-2020?

In this post and the next, we’ll be reviewing the data for tort cases for the decade of 2010 through 2020.  The overall reversal rate in tort cases was 55.56% in 2010 and 50% in 2011.  It rose to 70% in 2012, 75% in 2013 and 60% in 2014, then went to 85.71% in 2015.  In 2016, half the tort decisions were reversed.  The reversal rate rose to 57.14% in 2017 before going to 100% in 2018 and 2019.  Last year, the reversal rate was 50%.

In the past eleven years, far more of the Court’s tort cases were won
Continue Reading Is the Supreme Court More Likely to Review Plaintiffs’ or Defendants’ Wins from the Appellate Court in Tort Cases (2010-2020)?