Between 2010 and 2020, a total of 1,258 amicus briefs were filed at the California Supreme Court in civil cases – 737 of them supporting appellants and 521 supporting respondents. Appellants were considerably more successful than respondents’ amici in these years: appellants’ amici wound up on the winning side in 71.23% of cases, while respondents’ amici won only 40.31% of their cases.
Among appellants’ amici, three areas of law saw perfect winning percentages: domestic relations, election law and property law. Two lost all their cases: wills and estates and secured transactions.
Appellants’ amici in commercial law cases won 90.32% of the time. From there, appellants’ amici in arbitration cases won 87.18%; in environmental law, 81.43%; in civil procedure cases, 75.29%; in government and administrative law cases, 74.81%; in workers compensation cases, 73.33%; and in employment law cases, 69.62%. The four least successful areas of law for appellants’ amici were tort (68..81%); constitutional (58.06%); insurance law (56%) and tax law (53.49%).
Respondents’ amici in four areas of law won all their cases – construction law, domestic relations, secured transactions and wills & estates. All three property law respondents’ amici lost. In constitutional law, 56.94% of respondents’ amici won. From there, we go to employment law (51.72%); workers compensation and election law (50% each); tort law (43.67%); government and administrative law (42.57%); insurance law (42.11%); environmental law and civil procedure (33.33% each) and bringing up the rear, commercial law, where only 1 of 18 respondents’ amici were successful, for a winning percentage of 5.56%.
Join us back here next time as we review the data for the criminal side of the ledger.