Last week, we showed that the most frequent area of criminal law for amicus briefs in California between 1990 and 1999 was criminal procedure (by a two-to-one margin).  Following crim pro were constitutional law, sentencing law, juvenile issues and death penalty cases.  So this week, we’re looking at the years 2000 through 2009.

Once again,

Today, we’re reviewing two issues on the criminal side of the docket – what areas of law produced the most amicus briefs and were more amicus briefs offensive – supporting the appellant and attacking the Court of Appeal decision – or defensive, supporting the respondent.  We begin with the 1990s.

Constitutional law was the leading

This week, we’re continuing our look at the amicus brief data with two questions: (1) given how common amicus briefs are at the California Supreme Court, are briefs clustered more in cases involving certain areas of law than others; and (2) are more amicus briefs filed in California offensive – attacking an adverse Court of

Earlier this week, we began a four-part post at the Illinois Supreme Court Review briefly reviewing some of the leading academic literature on the phenomenon of “panel effects” – the theory that appellate panels are a collective decision-maker rather than a group of individual decision-makers, and thus a particular judge’s vote is influenced to some

Today, we’re reviewing the contents of our database, which includes every case decided by the California Supreme Court since January 8, 1990.  For every case, we’ve captured the following data points:


Official Reporter Citation

California Reporter Citation

Docket Number

Case Name


Petitioner Governmental Entity (Y/N)

Respondent Governmental Entity (Y/N)

Source of Appellate