This week, we’re looking at the relationship between lag time – the number of days from the grant of review by the Supreme Court to the final decision – and the result in the case. One might expect that lag time has very little relationship to the case result – surely it’s determined by the complexity of the issues and facts and the Court’s caseload. But is that really true?
In fact, there is a moderately strong relationship between lag time and result in civil cases: affirmances were pending longer in 7 of the past 10 years. In many years, the difference wasn’t minimal. IN 2011, affirmances averaged 625.75 days pending to 499.87 for reversals. In 2012, affirmances averaged 876.33 days while reversals averaged 632.18 days. The numbers were closer in 2013 and 2014, but reversals took longer in 2015: 731.1 days for reversals to 623 for affirmances. In 2017, reversals averaged 741.5 days to 661.94 for affirmances. But since then, the usual relationship has reasserted itself. In 2018, affirmances averaged 729.29 days while reversals averaged 705.64 days. Last year, the comparison was 666.9 days in affirmances to 645.92 days for reversals. So far this year, affirmances have been substantially slower: 947 days for affirmances, 710.53 days for reversals.
Join us back here next time as we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal cases.