With few exceptions, it’s remained true since 2005 that somewhere between one in four and one in five criminal cases at the California Supreme Court have at least one amicus brief.  In 2005, 22.95% of the cases had one.  That rose to 24.59% in 2009 and 24.68% in 2012.  The percentage dropped off a bit to 21.82% in 2014 and 20.45% the following year.  But over the past two years, as filings in civil cases were dropping a bit, criminal cases have ticked up slightly – 24.39% in 2019 and 28.57% in 2020.

Appellants received an average of 0.21 briefs per case in support in 2005.  In 2008, that had risen to 0.303, and to 0.384 in 2010.  Filings dropped a bit from 2011 to 2014 but picked up again in 2015 – 0.39 briefs per case, and in 2016 at 0.31.  In 2018, appellant briefs reached 0.4 per case, and the number reached its highest level of the period in 2020 – 0.405 briefs per case.

Filings supporting respondents were comparatively flat throughout these years.  The average respondent received 0.25 briefs in 2005 and 0.23 in 2007.  In 2012, respondents averaged 0.16 briefs.  In 2014, there was a one-year spike to 0.45, but that almost immediately fell back to trend: 0.14 in 2017, 0.16 in 2018, 0.15 in 2019 and 0.14 in 2020.

Join us back here next week as we continue our examination of the data on amicus filings.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Edward Stojakovic (no changes).