What Can Individual Justices’ Questioning Reveal About the Decision – Criminal Cases 2018

Last time, we reviewed the Court’s oral arguments in criminal cases at the macro level – data on the whole court.  This time, we’re going micro – what can we predict about individual Justices’ votes and writing based on the oral arguments?

In Table 1024, we report average questions per Justice in criminal cases.  All the Justices except Justice Liu averaged more questions – particularly when adding the rebuttal to the appellant’s opening segment – to appellants than appellees.  Justice Liu averaged 3.76 questions to appellants and 4.82 to appellees.  Pro tem Justices, who sat on every case in 2018, averaged 1.84 questions to appellants, 1.72 to appellees and 0.26 to rebuttals.

When writing the majority opinion, Justices’ questioning increased across the board.  Three Justices – the Chief Justice and Justices Corrigan and Liu – averaged more questions to appellees when writing the majority – while Justices Chin and Cuellar averaged fewer questions.  Justice Chin averaged the highest number of questions to appellants when writing a criminal majority – 6.13.  Justice Corrigan averaged the most questions to appellees in the second segment of argument – 7.5.  Justice Chin averaged the most questions in rebuttal when writing the majority – 1.13.

Only three Justices wrote concurrences in criminal cases during these years – Justice Corrigan averaged 3.5 questions to appellants, 0.5 to appellees and 1 in rebuttal.  Justice Chin averaged four to appellants and two to appellees.  Justice Liu was quite active in cases where he wrote criminal concurrences – seven questions to appellants, 20.5 to appellees and 3.5 in rebuttal.

When writing dissents, Justices Kruger and Chin asked no questions.  The Chief Justice averaged five questions to appellants and two to appellees.  Justice Liu averaged 4.67 questions to appellants, 13.78 to appellees and 1.56 in rebuttals.  Justice Cuellar averaged four questions to appellants, seven to appellees and three in rebuttal.  Pro tems writing dissents averaged two questions to appellants, 2.5 to appellees and one in rebuttal.

When Justices were joining the majority of a criminal affirmance, every Justice averaged more questions to appellants than appellees, just as we would expect.  Only Justice Liu was close – 3.68 questions to appellants, 3.4 to appellees.

Only Justice Chin and the pro tems who joined the Court for one case at a time throughout 2018 averaged more questions to appellants than appellees in reversals.

When dissenting from a criminal affirmance, four Justices – Corrigan, Kruger, Liu and the pro tems – averaged more questions to appellants – the party who lost the overall case – than to the appellees who the individual Justices voted against.

Justices dissenting from a reversal were different – only Justices Liu and the pro tems averaged more questions to the parties they voted for than the parties who won the case.

Finally, we review how often each Justice asked the first question in each segment of the argument – appellant, appellee and rebuttal.  Justice Corrigan led with eleven firsts to appellant, fourteen in rebuttal and twelve to appellees.  Justice Liu had twelve firsts to appellants, five in rebuttal and ten to appellees.  Justice Cuellar had twelve firsts with appellants, three with rebuttals and five to appellees.  Justice Chin had eight firsts to appellants, six to rebuttals and five to appellees.  Justice Kruger had five firsts with appellants, two in rebuttals and six to appellees.  Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye had two firsts with appellants, three to rebuttals and five to appellees.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to a new question.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ilya Ktsn (no changes).

Is the Party Getting More Questions Likely to Lose – Criminal Cases 2018

In our next two posts, we’re reviewing the data for the Court’s oral arguments in criminal cases during 2018.

In all, the Justices asked 1,103 questions of appellants and 896 of appellees.

That works out to 22.06 questions to the appellant, and 17.92 to the appellee.

We’ve shown before that most argument analytics studies have shown that the party getting more questions is likely to lose.  In criminal affirmances last year, appellants averaged 24.06 questions and appellees 15.28.

In split decisions – cases where the Court affirmed in part and reversed in part – appellants averaged 16.4 questions to appellees’ 11.8 questions.

In reversals, as expected, the party defending the Court of Appeal’s decision tended to get questioned more heavily – 26.77 questions for appellees, 19.31 questions for appellants.

Join us back here next time as we take a closer look at the individual Justices’ question patterns.

Image courtesy of Flickr by daveynin (no changes).

What Can Individual Justices’ Questioning Forecast About the Result – Civil Cases 2018

Justices Cuellar and Liu were the most frequent questioners during civil cases in 2018.  Justice Cuellar averaged 5.42 questions of appellants, 5.94 of appellees and 0.48 in rebuttals.  Justice Liu averaged 4.33 of appellants, 6.15 of appellees and 1.24 in rebuttals.  Justice Corrigan averaged 2.42 questions in appellants, 2.18 of appellees and 0.64 in rebuttals.  Justice Kruger averaged 3.72 questions of appellants, 3.75 questions of appellees and 0.44 questions in rebuttals.  The Chief Justice averaged 4.17 questions of appellants, 4.9 questions of appellees and 0.8 questions in rebuttals.  Justice Chin averaged 2.85 questions of appellants, 5.67 questions of appellees and 1.21 questions in rebuttals.  Pro tem Justices averaged 1.59 questions of appellants, 1.41 of appellees and 0.53 questions in rebuttals.

Justices writing majority opinions averaged more questions.  Justice Corrigan averaged 8.67 questions of appellants when writing majority opinions, 10 questions of appellees and 0.33 in rebuttals.  Justice Kruger averaged 7.67 questions of appellants, 8.33 questions of appellees and 0.67 questions in rebuttals.  The Chief Justice averaged 7.5 questions of appellants, 7.13 questions of appellees and 0.63 questions in rebuttals.  Justice Chin averaged 5.71 questions of appellants, 6.43 questions of appellees and 2.71 questions in rebuttals.  Justice Cuellar averaged 7.6 questions of appellants, 5.8 questions of appellees and 0.8 questions in rebuttals.  Justice Liu averaged 6.75 questions of appellants, 8.25 questions of appellees and 0.75 questions in rebuttals.

When writing civil concurrences, Justice Kruger averaged 5.5 questions to appellants, 6 questions to appellees and 0.5 questions in rebuttals.  The Chief Justice averaged 4 questions to appellees and none to appellants.  Justice Chin averaged 4.33 questions to appellants, 2.33 questions in rebuttal and 2.33 questions to appellees.  Justice Cuellar averaged 4.5 questions to appellants, 7.5 questions to appellees and 1 question in rebuttal.  Justice Liu averaged 2.67 questions to appellants, 8.33 questions to appellees and 0.67 questions in rebuttal.  Pro tem Justices averaged two questions to appellees and none to appellants or in rebuttals.

Only three Justices wrote civil dissents during 2018.  Justice Chin averaged seven questions to appellants, nine to appellees and four in rebuttal when writing a dissent.  Justice Cuellar averaged eight questions to appellants, seven to appellees and none in rebuttal.  Justice Liu averaged eleven questions to appellants, six to appellees and six in rebuttal.

Only Justice Liu averaged more questions to the winning party when voting with the majority in an affirmance.  Justice Corrigan averaged 1.86 questions to appellants and 0.29 questions in rebuttal.  Justice Kruger averaged 4.15 questions to appellants and 0.23 in rebuttal.  The Chief Justice averaged 5.92 questions to appellants and 0.69 in rebuttal.  Justice Chin averaged 2.93 questions to appellants and 1.21 in rebuttal.  Justice Cuellar averaged 4.21 questions to appellants and 0.43 questions in rebuttal.

Justices Kruger, Cuellar and Liu and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye followed the expected pattern when they voted with the majority in civil reversals, asking more questions of appellees.  Justice Kruger averaged 4.6 questions of appellees, 3.47 of appellants and 0.67 in rebuttals.  Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye averaged 6.71 questions of appellees, 2.93 of appellant and 1 in rebuttals.  Justice Cuellar averaged 7.07 questions of appellees, 5.73 questions of appellants and 0.4 questions in rebuttal.  Justice Liu averaged 6.73 questions of appellees, 4.93 questions of appellants and 1.73 in rebuttal.

Dissents were rare among the Court’s 2018 civil cases, so it’s difficult to see whether a Justice tended to ask the party he or she was voting against, or the party who would likely lose the most questions.  When dissenting from a civil reversal, Justice Chin averaged seven questions of appellants, four in rebuttal and nine of appellees.  Justice Cuellar averaged eight questions of appellants and seven of appellees.  Justice Liu averaged eleven questions of appellants, six of appellees and six in rebuttal.  Pro tem Justices averaged five questions of appellants, two of appellees and three in rebuttal.

Over longer periods of time, asking the first question is a fairly good indicator that the Justice might be writing an opinion.  For only a single year, it’s a less reliable indicator.  For civil cases in 2018, Justice Cuellar was most often the first questioner, asking the first question of appellants eleven times and ten times of appellees.  Justice Corrigan led off six times to appellants, four to appellees and three in rebuttals.  Justice Kruger began three times to appellants, five to appellees and two in rebuttal.  Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye began four times to appellants, two to appellees and two in rebuttal.  Justice Chin asked the first question five times to appellants, ten times to appellees and six times in rebuttal.  Justice Liu asked the first question seven times of appellants, five of appellees and eight times in rebuttal.  Pro tem Justices asked the first question once of appellees and three times in rebuttal.

Join us next time as we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal arguments for 2018.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Pamla J. Eisenberg (no changes).

Is the Party Getting More Questions Likely to Lose – Civil Arguments 2018

This time, we’re looking at the oral arguments in civil cases in 2018.  For new readers, you can review the history of data analytics for oral arguments here.

For civil cases decided last year, the Court asked 958 questions of appellants and 889 of appellees – an average of 29.03 questions to appellants and 26.94 questions to appellees.  A bit of context – as shown in our posts earlier this week at the Illinois Supreme Court Review, the Illinois Supreme Court averaged less than half as many questions to appellants and appellees.

As shown in the discussion of the history of oral argument analytics, the losing party tends to get more questions.  For civil cases decided in 2018, the Court averaged 27.64 questions to appellants and 18.79 to appellees.

What about split decisions, where the Court affirmed in part and reversed in part?  In split civil decisions decided in 2018, the Court averaged 33.25 questions of appellants and 27.75 questions of appellees.

When the Court reversed, appellants got an average of 29.45 questions to 35.73 questions to appellees.

Join us back here next time as we continue our review of the 2018 data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Will Buckner (no changes).

 

How Have Challengers to Government Powers, Actions and Procedures Fared Before the Supreme Court Since 1990 (2014-2019)?

The Supreme Court decided thirty-nine government and administrative law cases between 2014 and 2019: three in 2014, eleven per year in 2015 and 2016, nine in 2017, five in 2018 and none so far in 2019.

The Court decided twenty-two cases between 2014 and 2019 which were won by the defender of government authority versus seventeen cases won by the challengers.

Challengers to government actions once again had a hard time in cases they had won below, winning seven and losing eleven.

Defenders of government conduct and authority have fared even worse in recent years, winning seven cases they had won at the Court of Appeal while losing fourteen.

Overall, challengers to government action won twenty-one cases at the Supreme Court from 2014 to 2019 while losing eighteen.

The Court decided twenty-one cases involving the powers, conduct and duties of government entities and officials, twelve cases about private parties’ rights against the government, and six cases involving government entities’ procedures.

Justice Liu led the Court, casting twenty votes for challengers.  Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Chin and Corrigan cast nineteen votes for challengers.  Justice Werdegar cast sixteen votes, Justices Kruger and Cuellar cast fifteen votes apiece, Justice Baxter cast two votes and Justice Kennard cast one before her retirement.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Chin and Corrigan led the Court, casting twenty votes apiece against challengers to government entities and conduct.  Justice Liu cast nineteen votes and Justices Werdegar, Kruger and Cuellar cast eighteen votes each.  Justice Baxter cast one vote before his retirement.

Between 1990 and 2019, challengers to government conduct have won ninety-one cases involving government and administrative law issues while losing one hundred three – a winning percentage of 46.91%.

So which Justices were more likely to vote for challengers than the majority of the Court?  Justice Broussard voted for challengers in sixty percent of his government and administrative law cases.  Justice Liu did so 55.1% of the time.  Justice Panelli did so 54.05% of the time.  Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Corrigan voted for challengers in 53.52% of cases.  Chief Justice Lucas did so 49.09% of the time.  Justice Kennard supported challengers 48.05% of the time and Justice Mosk did in 46.99%.

Finally, we review the Justices who were less likely to vote for challengers than the Court as a whole.  Eight Justices were in the forties: Justices Arabian (46%), Kruger and Cuellar (45.45% each), Werdegar (44.44%), Baxter (41.67%), Chin (41.61%), Moreno (41.51%) and Chief Justice George (40.16%).  Justice Eagleson voted for challengers only 37.5% of the time, and Justice Brown did in 32.65% of her cases.

Join us back here next week as we begin a new topic in our analysis.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ken Lund (no changes).

How Have Challengers to Government Powers, Actions and Procedures Fared Before the Supreme Court Since 1990 (2006-2013)?

Between 2006 and 2013, the Supreme Court decided forty-five cases involving government and administrative law issues: nine in 2006, ten in 2007, five in 2008, four in 2009, four in 2010, two in 2011, four in 2012 and seven in 2013.

The caseload leaned a little bit towards cases won by the defenders of government actions below – defenders won twenty-four cases at the Court of Appeal before the Supreme Court granted review, while challengers won eighteen.

Challengers to government actions who had won at the Court of Appeal won seven cases at the Supreme Court while losing eleven.

Defenders of government actions, on the other hand, split their cases evenly, winning twelve and losing twelve at the Supreme Court.

Overall challengers to government entities and actions won eighteen cases at the Supreme Court while losing twenty-four.

Twenty-one cases involved the powers, duties and actions of government officials and entities.  Sixteen involved procedural questions.  Seven involved private actors’ rights against the government.

Turning to the individual Justices’ votes, Justice Kennard cast twenty-three votes for challengers to government actions.  Justice Werdegar cast twenty votes.  Justices Chin and Corrigan had nineteen apiece, followed by Justice Baxter at eighteen, Chief Justice George and Justice Moreno at thirteen, and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Liu at seven votes.

Justices Baxter and Chin led with twenty-three votes each against challengers, followed by Justice Werdegar (twenty votes), Justice Kennard (nineteen votes), Chief Justice George and Justice Moreno (eighteen votes), Justice Corrigan (thirteen votes), and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Liu (three votes each).

Join us back here next time as we review the last several years’ data.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Gabriel Millos (no changes).

How Have Non-Government Entities Fared in Cases Involving Governmental Agencies and Officers and Administrative Law (1998-2005)?

The Court’s docket of cases involving government entities and government/administrative law was down significantly from sixty-nine between 1990 and 1997 to forty-four from 1998 to 2005.  The Court decided four cases in 1998, five in 1999, seven in 2000, five in 2001, three in 2002, six in 2003, ten in 2004 and four in 2005.

Who won at the Court of Appeal among the government/admin cases the Court heard and decided?  For the most part, challengers did.  Challengers won twenty-six of the cases while defenders of government conduct won only seventeen.

Once those challengers who had won below reached the Supreme Court, they generally lost – for the entire period, challengers who won below won seven at the Supreme Court while losing twenty-two.

There was still some evidence suggesting that the Court was accepting cases in order to reverse – defenders of government action and authority who had won below won six at the Supreme Court while losing ten.

Disregarding who won below, challengers did fairly well at the Supreme Court, winning twenty-four while losing twenty-one.

The Court decided twenty-seven cases involving the power and actions of government officials and entities, ten involving the government’s procedures and only seven involving a private party’s rights against the government.

Justice Kennard led, casting twenty-one votes across the eight years for the positions of challengers to government action.  Justice Werdegar had nineteen votes, Chief Justice George had eighteen votes and Justices Chin and Baxter had sixteen and fifteen, respectively.  Justice Brown cast twelve votes, Justice Moreno cast nine and Justice Mosk cast eight votes.

Justices Baxter, Brown and Chin led during these years, casting twenty-six votes apiece against challengers to government actions.  Chief Justice George had twenty-five votes, Justice Werdegar had twenty-three and Justice Kennard cast twenty-two votes.  Justice Moreno cast thirteen votes for defenders of government actions and Justice Mosk cast eight votes.

Join us back here next time as we carry the analysis through to this year.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Brandon W Mason (no changes).

How Have Challengers to Government Powers, Actions and Procedures Fared Before the Supreme Court (1990-1997)?

This time, we’re turning our attention to a new area of the Court’s civil docket – cases involving the conduct, authority and procedures of government agencies and officers.  For our purposes in this and the three posts following, we’re defining “government” parties as anyone whose claim or defense is based upon the powers or conduct of government entities – for example, if a private entity was suing based on a claim whose validity depended on whether an action of the Los Angeles City Council was within its authority, that entity would be classed as “government” here.

Between 1990 and 1997, the Supreme Court decided sixty-nine cases involving government and administrative law – eight in 1990, nine in 1991, eleven in 1992, six in 1993, eight in 1994, and nine per year in 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Most of the Court’s cases were won by the challenger at the Court of Appeal: forty-one challengers’ wins to twenty-seven cases won by the defender of government actions.

Challengers of government actions who had won at the Court of Appeal had a very rough time at the Supreme Court between 1990 and 1997: nine wins and thirty-two losses.

Governmental parties and defenders of government action lost most of the time too, suggesting that during these years, the Court was generally taking these cases to reverse.  Defenders won eight and lost nineteen.

Combining the two tables so as to remove the issue of who won below, we find that challengers to government action won twenty-eight cases while losing forty.

What kinds of issues was the Court dealing with?  The Court decided thirty-five cases involving the powers and actions of government entities, twenty involving private individuals’ rights against government entities or officials and fourteen cases involving government entities’ procedure.

Justice Mosk cast the highest number of votes for challengers to government action and authority at thirty-one.  Justice Kennard was next with twenty-nine votes.  Chief Justice Lucas cast twenty-seven votes, Justice Baxter had twenty-five, Justice Arabian had twenty-three votes, and Chief Justice George and Justice Panelli had twenty each.  Justices Werdegar and Broussard cast nine votes for challengers, Justice Brown had four, Justices Chin and Eagleson had three each, and Justice Kaufman had one.

Justice Kennard cast thirty-nine votes between 1990 and 1997 against challengers to government action and authority.  Justice Mosk had thirty-six votes, Justice Baxter thirty-four and Chief Justice George cast thirty-three votes.  Two Justices were in the twenties: Chief Justice Lucas with twenty-eight votes and Justice Arabian with twenty-seven.  Justice Werdegar cast nineteen votes against challengers, Justice Panelli had seventeen, Justice Chin had eleven, Justice Brown cast seven, Justice Broussard six and Justice Eagleson five.

Join us next time as we turn to the years 1998 through 2005.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Adrian Clark (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Compensation Cases Since 1990 (Part 4 of 4)

The Court has decided only three workers compensation cases since 2013 – two in 2015 and one in 2018.

Two of the Supreme Court’s three workers compensation cases were won by defendants at the Court of Appeal.

The two defendants who had won their cases at the Court of Appeal evenly split at the Supreme Court – one win and one loss.

The one plaintiff who had won below lost at the Supreme Court.

Overall, defendants have won two and lost one between 2014 and 2019.

Of the Court’s three workers compensation cases, one involved workers comp exclusivity, one involved compensability and one involved a procedural question.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Chin, Corrigan, Liu and Cuellar cast two votes each for defendants between 2014 and 2019.  Justices Werdegar and Kruger cast one each.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Werdegar, Chin, Corrigan, Liu, Kruger and Cuellar all cast one vote against a workers compensation defendant in 2015.

Finally, we combine all the Justice by Justice voting data.  We compare those numbers to the overall percentage of cases won by defendants and determine which Justices were more and less likely to vote for defendants than the Court as a whole.  Seven Justices have voted for defendants in workers compensation cases at a higher rate than defendants’ overall winning percentage: Justice Brown (76.47%), Justices Kruger and Cuellar (66.67% each), Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye (60%), Justice Chin (57.69%), Justice Baxter (56.25%) and Chief Justice George (53.57%).

Eleven Justices have been less likely to vote for defendants in workers comp cases than defendants were to win the case: Chief Justice Lucas and Justices Broussard, Arabian and Moreno (50% each), Justice Kennard (48.48%), Justices Panelli, Werdegar and Corrigan (44.44% each), Justice Liu (40%), Justice Mosk (37.5%) and Justice Eagleson (0%).

Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to another topic.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Don DeBold (no changes).

 

 

How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Compensation Cases Since 1990 (Part 3 of 4)

The Court decided six workers compensation cases from 2006 to 2013 – two in 2007, one each in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

The Court’s light workers compensation docket consisted of four cases won by the plaintiffs below and only two involving defendants’ wins for these years.

Defendants who won Workers Compensation cases below won zero and lost two during these years.

Plaintiffs who won their workers compensation cases at the Court of Appeal had a rough time during these years – two wins and five losses before the Supreme Court.

Overall, defendants won two cases while losing three during these years.

The Court decided three cases involving compensability during these years, two involving procedural issues and one involving the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission.

 

Between 2006 and 2013, Justices Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin and Corrigan cast two votes each for workers compensation defendants each.  Chief Justice George, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Moreno all cast one vote for defendants.

Five Justices cast four votes each against workers compensation defendants: Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin and Corrigan.  Chief Justice George and Justice Moreno cast three votes against defendants.  Justice Liu cast two votes against defendants and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye cast one.

Join us back here tomorrow as we wrap our review of the workers compensation cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Mike Baird (no changes).

 

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