Last week, we began addressing the issue of the average lag time from grant of review to oral argument and from argument to decision, analyzing the data for the civil and criminal dockets from 2000 to 2007. This week, we’ll address the data for 2008 through 2016, beginning today with the civil docket.
There is substantial evidence that the average time from grant of review to oral argument is continuing to drift upwards. As we saw last week, for most of the first half of our study period, the average lag was between 500 and 600 days, only moving north of that figure in 2007. In 2008, the average lag from grant to argument was 672.8 days. The number dropped over the next three years, to 558.09 in 2009, 560.9 in 2010 and only 461.33 in 2011. The average was up significantly in 2012 to 631.08 days. It fell to 558.63 days in 2013, but has risen every year since: to 610.04 in 2014, 627.56 in 2015 and to a new high of 680.03 in 2016.
In Table 172, we report the mean days from oral argument to decision for the same period. For 2008, the average time was 71.53 days. That number fell for the three years following – to 68.25 in 2009, 65.31 in 2010 and 61.33 in 2011. The mean rose to 69.5 in 2012, and was flat the following year at 69.69. But like the lag from grant of review to argument, it has increased every year since – to 70.48 in 2014, 72.13 in 2015 and 78.97 in 2016.
Join us back here tomorrow as we look at trends in lag times for the Court’s criminal docket during the same period.