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 five workers compensation cases during these years.  One involved compensability issues, one involved procedural issues and three involved compensability issues.

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).

 

How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Compensation Cases Since 1990 (Part 2 of 4)

Today, we’re continuing our review of the Supreme Court’s workers comp cases, turning our attention to the cases decided between 1998 and 2005.

In all, the Court decided exactly the same number of cases 1998-2005 that it had 1990-1997: fourteen.  The Court decided three cases in 1998, one in 1999, two in 2000, six in 2001, none in 2002, one in 2003, zero in 2004 and one case in 2005.

Between 1990 and 2005, the Court decided fourteen plaintiffs’ wins from the Court of Appeal, fourteen defendants’ wins.  The 1998-2005 spread was six plaintiffs’ wins, eight defendants’ wins.

Defendants who won at the Court of Appeal did fairly well at the Supreme Court, winning six while losing four.

Plaintiffs who won at the Court of Appeal, on the other hand, won only once as compared to three losses.

Overall, disregarding who won at the Court of Appeal, defendants in workers comp cases won nine and lost five at the Supreme Court between 1998 and 2005.

Once again, procedural issues dominated – the Court decided seven cases mainly involving procedural issues, three which related to the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission, and two each involving workers comp exclusivity and compensability issues.

Turning to the Justices’ voting records, during these years Justice Brown cast eleven votes for workers comp defendants.  Justices Chin and Baxter cast nine votes apiece, Justice Kennard cast eight votes, Justice Werdegar cast seven, Chief Justice George cast six, Justice Mosk cast five votes and Justice Moreno cast two votes.

Justice Werdegar led with eight votes against workers compensation defendants.  Chief Justice George and Justice Kennard were next with six votes apiece.  Justices Mosk, Baxter and Chin cast five votes apiece.  Justice Brown cast three votes and Justice Moreno had none.

Join us back here next week as we finish our analysis.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Sarah and Jason (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Workers Compensation Cases Since 1990?

As we continue our issue-by-issue examination of the Court’s voting patterns in various areas of law, this week and next we’re addressing the Court’s workers compensation decisions.

Between 1990 and 1997, the Court decided fourteen workers compensation cases in all – one in 1990, two each in 1991 and 1992, five in 1993, none in 1994, one each in 1995 and 1996 and two in 1997.

By a narrow margin, the Court’s decisions more often arose from cases won by the plaintiffs at the Court of Appeal: eight won by plaintiff, six by defendant.

Defendants who had won at the Court of Appeal had a rough time defending those wins.  For the eight years, those defendants had two wins and four losses.

Plaintiffs had a sub-.500 winning percentage too.  Plaintiffs who had won the case at the Court of Appeal won three times at the Supreme Court, losing five cases.  Taken together, these charts imply that the Supreme Court was frequently taking workers compensation cases during this period in order to reverse.

Combining the data from the last two tables, defendants overall had six wins and eight losses in workers compensation cases at the Supreme Court.

So what types of issues was the Court deciding in its workers compensation cases?  For the most part, procedural cases: nine cases involved procedural issues, two were workers comp exclusivity cases, two more involved the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission and one involved the judiciary’s role in the process.

Below, we report the yearly votes of each individual Justices for the positions of defendants in workers compensation cases.  Chief Justice George and Justice Baxter each cast seven votes for defendants.  Justice Kennard cast six votes, Chief Justice Lucas and Justice Arabian cast five votes, Justice Panelli and Justice Mosk both cast four votes, Justices Werdegar, Brown and Chin cast two votes apiece and Justice Broussard cast one.

As for votes against defendants in workers comp cases, Justice Mosk led with ten.  Justice Kennard cast seven votes, Chief Justice Lucas and Justices Panelli, Eagleson and Baxter cast five each, Chief Justice George cast four votes, Justice Werdegar had two and Justices Broussard, Brown and Chin cast one apiece.

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our analysis of the Court’s workers compensation decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by ArtBrom (no changes).

Join Me Tomorrow for “What to Expect from the Brown Court” at the Bar Association of San Francisco

On Wednesday, May 8, I’ll be joining a panel of California Supreme Court experts for a panel discussion, “What to Expect from the Brown Court” at the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Conference Center, 301 Battery Street, 3rd Floor in San Francisco (the discussion will also be available through a webcast).

Justice Joshua P. Groban, the newest Justice appointed by former Governor Brown, will speak.  He will be followed by a panel discussion, with Benjamin G. Shatz of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and David A. Carrillo of the California Constitution Center, UC Berkeley joining me.  The Honorable Danny Y. Chou of the San Mateo Superior Court will moderate our discussion.

From the BASF Release:

The California Supreme Court – now with seven justices! Justice Groban has joined the program. The program’s first half features a conversation with the justice. In the second half the experts and court watchers will analyze the California Supreme Court’s recent track record, examining the six veteran justices’ three-year opinion and vote records. We will attempt to predict how the new seven-member court might operate.

Topics
– What do we think about the new justice?
– How did the court cope with fifteen months of pro tem justices?
– What data conclusions are plausible about the court’s recent history?
– Can we predict how the new justice will align?

We hope everyone will join us!

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ed Bierman (no changes). 

 

 

How Have Defendants Fared in Civil Constitutional Law Cases (Part 4 of 4)?

Today, we’re finishing our trip through the Court’s docket of civil constitutional law cases, 1990-2018.

Civil constitutional law cases have been comparatively uncommon on the Court’s docket from 2014 to 2019.  The Court has heard only fifteen cases in all: one in 2014, two each in 2015 and 2016, five in 2017, three in 2018 and two in 2019.

By a narrow eight to six margin, the Court has agreed to hear more plaintiffs’ wins from the Court of Appeal than defendants’ wins.

Defendants have had a rough time once again in the relatively few cases they won below, suggesting that many of the cases were taken in order to reverse.  From 2014 to 2019, defendants arriving at the Court on a win won only one of their cases while losing five.

Plaintiffs, on the other hand, nearly always succeeded in defending their Court of Appeal wins.  From 2014 to 2019, plaintiffs who won below were seven wins and one loss at the Supreme Court.

Combining the data from these two charts, we find that defendants overall in the past five years are two wins and twelve losses at the Supreme Court.  Across the entire twenty-nine years, defendants have won fifty-three cases while losing seventy-seven, a winning percentage of 40.77%.

Looking at the specific issues the Court addressed during these years, we find five due process cases, four preemption cases, three cases about the organization and authority of governmental entities and officials, two cases about equal protection and one First Amendment case.

Looking at the individual Justices’ votes for defendants in civil constitutional law cases, we find four each from Justices Liu and Kruger, three each from Justices Chin and Corrigan, two each by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Cuellar and one from Justice Werdegar.

As for votes against constitutional law defendants, we have the Chief Justice and Justices Corrigan and Cuellar with twelve each.  Justices Chin and Liu have cast eleven apiece.  Justice Kruger has nine, Justice Werdegar has seven, and Justices Baxter and Groban have one apiece.

So where does all this leave us?  As we noted above, defendants since 1990 have won only 40.77% of their civil constitutional law cases at the Supreme Court.  Our table below reports the Justices who voted for defendants in more than 40.77% of their constitutional law cases.  Justice Kaufman voted for the defendant in the only civil constitutional law case in which he participated before his January 31, 1990 retirement.  Justice Brown supported defendants 61.11% of the time.  Justice Kennard did 50.77% of the time.  Justice Eagleson supported defendants in 50% of his cases.  Justice Panelli was at 46.67%, Justice Chin is at 45%, Justice Baxter was at 44.92% and Chief Justice Lucas was at 41.86%.

Finally, we have the Justices who have been less likely to support defendants in these cases than the Court as a whole.  Chief Justice George voted for defendants 39.64% of the time.  Six more Justices were in the thirties – Justice Werdegar (39.42%), Arabian (38.46%), Moreno (36.73%), Corrigan (34.09%), Mosk (31.51%) and Kruger (30.77%).  Justices Broussard (23.08%) and Liu (21.05%) were in the twenties.  Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has supported defendants in civil constitutional law cases only fifteen percent of the time.  Justice Cuellar has voted for defendants in 14.29% of his cases.  Justice Groban voted against the defendant in the only civil constitutional law case he has participated in since joining the Court.  Note the division among current members of the Court: six Justices are statistically less likely to support a defendant in a civil constitutional law case than defendants’ overall winning percentage, and only one is more likely to do so.  This suggests that defendants’ winning percentage in these cases is likely to decline further in the next several years.

Join us back here later this week as we turn to a new topic.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Becky Matsubara (no changes).

 

How Have Defendants Fared in Civil Constitutional Law Cases (Part 3)?

Constitutional law cases were down sharply as a share of the Supreme Court’s civil docket between 2006 and 2013, with the Court deciding only thirty cases – five in 2006, nine in 2007, two in 2008, two in 2009, four in 2010, five in 2011, one in 2012 and two in 2013.

Although the docket was evenly divided between plaintiffs’ and defendants’ wins from 1998 to 2005, between 2006 and 2013, the Court decided substantially more cases won below by the defendant (fifteen cases) than by the plaintiff (nine cases).

Defendants who won at the Court of Appeal had a very rough time at the Supreme Court during these years, winning four while losing twelve.

Plaintiffs who won at the Court of Appeal split eight decisions at the Supreme Court, winning four and losing four.

Overall, disregarding which side won below, defendants in civil constitutional law cases won seven while losing seventeen between 2006 and 2013.

Next, we review the issues the Court decided.  Across the period, the Court handed down nine due process decisions, eight involving government organization, powers and officers, four each on preemption and the First Amendment, and two each on judicial issues and equal protection.

The Justice most frequently voting with defendants in civil constitutional law cases was Justice Chin at thirteen votes.  Justices Baxter and Corrigan cast twelve votes each, Justice Kennard cast ten votes, Chief Justice George cast nine votes, Justice Werdegar cast eight, Justice Moreno cast six and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye cast one.

As for total votes against defendants, Justice Werdegar led with twenty votes.  Justice Kennard was next with nineteen votes.  Justices Baxter and Moreno cast seventeen votes each.  Justice Chin cast sixteen votes.  Chief Justice George cast thirteen votes, his successor Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye cast five votes, and Justice Liu cast four.

Join us back here next time as we address the years 2014 to 2019 and total up our results.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ryan Vaarsi (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Civil Constitutional Law Cases Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Last time, we reviewed the data for the Court’s civil constitutional law cases between 1990 and 1997.  This time, we’re looking at the numbers for the years 1998 to 2005.

Constitutional law cases were slightly up for the years 1998 to 2005, with the Court deciding fifty-three civil constitutional law cases.  Specifically, the Court decided two cases in 1998, nine in 1999, six in 2000, eight in 2001, ten in 2002, five each in 2003 and 2004 and eight cases in 2005.

Between 1998 and 2005, the Court decided twenty-three civil constitutional law cases won by the plaintiffs below and twenty-three cases won by the defendants.

Defendants who won at the Court of Appeal level had a difficult time between 1998 and 2005, winning only seven and losing twelve.  Winning defendants were only one win and four losses between 2003 and 2005.

Plaintiffs who won below had an even more difficult time, winning ten but losing seventeen.  The winning plaintiffs won zero and lost four in 2005.

Consolidating the last two tables, defendants overall (disregarding who won at the Court of Appeal) were twenty-four wins and twenty-two losses for this period.

The Court decided fourteen cases each relating to the powers and structure of governmental entities and public officials and to First Amendment issues.  The Court decided thirteen due process cases, eight cases involving preemption and four involving equal protection.

Justice Janice Rogers Brown led in total votes cast for defendants in civil constitutional law cases with thirty-one.  Justice Kennard had twenty-nine votes, Justice Chin twenty-seven, Justices Baxter and Werdegar twenty-four apiece, and Chief Justice George voted for defendants twenty-two times.

As for votes against defendants in civil constitutional law cases, Chief Justice George led with thirty, Justice Werdegar cast twenty-seven votes, Justice Chin had twenty-four, Justice Baxter had twenty-three votes and Justice Kennard had twenty-two.

Join us later this week as we finish up the data on constitutional law cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Dennis Jarvis (no changes).

How Have Defendants Fared in Civil Constitutional Law Cases Since 1990 (Part 1)?

Today, we’re continuing our ongoing series of posts looking at the Court’s performance over the years, one area of law at a time.  This week, we’re looking at the Court’s history with civil constitutional law cases (for purposes of this analysis, we’re disregarding the constitutional law cases which arise in criminal cases).

Between 1990 and 1997, the Court decided fifty civil cases involving constitutional law – six in 1990, eight per year in 1991 and 1992, six in 1993 and 1994, eight in 1995, three in 1996 and five in 1997.

In Table 906, we review the cases according to which side won below.  By a narrow margin, the Court decided more defense wins from the Court of Appeal than plaintiffs wins (twenty-two plaintiffs, twenty-four defendants).  As usual, the small difference between the cases in this calculation and in the first calculation is accounted for by cases heard on certified question from the Ninth Circuit which had no winner “below.”

Looking at how defendants coming off a win at the Court of Appeal fared before the Supreme Court, the answer is – not very well.  From 1990 to 1997, winning defendants won only nine of their Supreme Court cases while losing sixteen.

Plaintiffs who won their cases did much better at the Supreme Court, but still couldn’t break .500 in their winning percentage.  Plaintiffs won ten cases but lost eleven between 1990 and 1997.

Combining the last two tables, we find that between 1990 and 1997, defendants in civil constitutional law cases won twenty while losing twenty-six.

Looking more closely at the specific constitutional law issues that the Court addressed, we find fifteen cases which involved the power and structure of government entities and public officials; fourteen cases involved due process issues, nine involved First Amendment issues and five involved preemption.

Turning to the individual Justices’ voting records, Justice Kennard cast the most votes for defendants in constitutional law cases with twenty-seven.  Chief Justice Lucas was next with eighteen votes, Justice Baxter had seventeen and Justices Mosk, Arabian and Panelli all had fifteen votes.

Leading the Court during these years in most votes against constitutional law defendants was Justice Mosk was thirty-five.  Chief Justice Lucas had twenty-five, Justice Arabian, Chief Justice George and Justice Baxter all had twenty-four and Justice Kennard had twenty-three.

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue to work our way through the constitutional law cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Pedro Szekely (no changes).

How Have Defendants in Employment Law Cases Fared at the Supreme Court (Part 3)?

With this post, we review the most recent data on the Court’s and individual Justice’s experience with employment law cases.

From 1990 to 2018, defendants in employment law cases who had prevailed at the Court of Appeal were slightly below .500 at the Supreme Court, winning twenty-six and losing thirty.  Between 2010 and 2018, winning defendants won nine cases at the Supreme Court while losing eleven.

Plaintiffs who had won below fared a few percentage points worse than winning defendants did.  Between 1990 and 2018, plaintiffs who arrived at the Supreme Court on a win won twenty of their cases while losing twenty-six.  From 2010 to 2018, winning plaintiffs were four wins and six losses at the Supreme Court.

Now we combine the data to derive an overall won-loss record for defendants in employment law cases (disregarding which side won below).  From 1990 to 2018, defendants in employment law cases won fifty-two cases while losing fifty-three.  Between 2010 and 2018, defendants won fifteen while losing eighteen.

Next, let’s look at what the principal issues falling under the umbrella of “employment law” were.  Between 1990 and 2018, the Court decided fifty-three cases involving tort and contractual liability in the employment law sphere, seventeen involving discrimination, thirty-one involving wage and hour and collective bargaining issues and seven “other.”  Since 2010, the Court has decided seven tort and contractual liability cases, four discrimination cases, twenty wage and hour/collective bargaining cases and three “other.”

Next, we review the yearly voting records for the Justices – which Justices voted for employment law defendants most often between 2010 and 2018.  Justice Chin was first with seventeen votes, Justice Corrigan had sixteen, Justice Baxter had fourteen and Justice Kennard had thirteen.

Next, it’s the Justices’ yearly votes against employment law defendants.  Leading in that category is Justice Corrigan with nineteen votes, followed by Justices Werdegar, Chin and Liu at seventeen votes apiece, then Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye at fifteen and Justices Kruger and Cuellar at nine apiece.

Over the entire twenty-nine-year period, defendants in employment law cases won 49.53% of the time at the Supreme Court.  So our next Table combines all of each Justice’s votes across the period and calculates which Justices supported employment law defendants more often than 49.53% of the time.

Justice Arabian leads at 63.64%, followed by seven Justices in the fifties – Justices Baxter (56.52%), Brown (54.29%), Corrigan (52.63%) and Chin (51.58%), plus Chief Justice Lucas (50%), Justice Eagleson (50%) and Chief Justice George (50%).

And finally, the Justices who were less likely to vote for employment law defendants than the Court as a whole.  Falling just below the Courtwide average were Justice Moreno (47.27%), Justice Kennard (43.01%), Justice Werdegar (42.39%) and Justice Panelli (40%).  Justice Mosk voted for defendants in 38.46% of his employment law cases, and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is just below that at 37.5%.  Below the Chief Justice, we find Justices Liu (26.09%), Kruger and Cuellar (both 18.18%).   Justice Broussard participated in only two employment law cases before leaving the Court in 1991, voting against the defendant in both.  The takeaway from these last two charts is while defendants have held their own in employment law cases over the past twenty-nine years, winning fifty-two and losing fifty-three, four of the six Justices (excluding the newest addition to the Court Justice Groban) on the Court rank as “below average” likelihoods to support the views of employment law defendants.  Only Justices Corrigan and Chin have supported the defense side more often than the Court as a whole.

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

Image courtesy of Flickr by Dennis Jarvis (no changes).

 

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