Today, we’re concluding the latest stage of our analysis of the data on amicus briefs, reviewing two issues: (1) which areas of law attracted the most amicus briefs; and (2) were most amicus briefs offensive – attacking a Court of Appeal decision – or defensive – defending the Court of Appeal decision – in each area of law?  Today, we’re reviewing civil cases for the years 2010 through 2020.

Fifty-nine cases involving government and administrative law had at least one amicus brief.  Forty-eight civil procedure cases did.  Tort law and employment law were neck and neck – 42 tort law cases and 40 employment law cases.  Thirty constitutional law cases had at least one amicus brief.  Twenty environmental law cases had an amicus brief.  There were fifteen arbitration cases, fourteen commercial law, thirteen tax law and a dozen insurance law cases with at least one amicus brief.  Six workers compensation cases had an amicus brief and five domestic relations cases did.

Government and administrative law led the field for these years with a total of 245 amicus briefs.  There were 196 briefs in tort law cases, one hundred seventy-two in employment law, one hundred sixty-nine in constitutional law and one hundred fifty-seven in civil procedure cases.  Environmental law generated 120 briefs.  There were 71 arbitration briefs, 67 in tax law, 55 in insurance law, 53 involving commercial law, 23 briefs in workers compensation cases and 10 in domestic relations cases.   There was a slight predominance of offensive briefs in government/administrative law cases – 139 to 106.  There was an even bigger predominance in tort cases – 116 to 80.   Employment law cases were fairly evenly split – 93 for appellant, 79 for respondents.  Constitutional law were fairly evenly split too – 95 briefs for appellants, 74 for respondents.  There were 93 briefs for appellants and 64 for respondents in civil procedure cases.   Most amicus briefs were offensive in environmental law – 72 supporting appellants and only 48 for respondents.  Arbitration briefs were evenly split – 39 favoring appellants, 32 for respondents.  Tax were predominantly offensive – 43 briefs for appellants, only 24 for respondents.  Insurance law cases were almost exactly evenly split – 28 briefs for appellants, 27 supporting respondents.  Commercial law cases were mostly offensive – 35 briefs for appellants, only 18 for respondents.  Workers’ compensation cases were mostly offensive too – 15 briefs supporting appellants and only 8 for respondents.  Domestic relations cases were similar – 7 supporting appellants, only 3 supporting respondents.

Join us back here next time as we review the data in criminal law cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Sharon Hahn Darlin (no changes).