Archives: Length of Majority Opinions

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Who Wrote the Longest Majority Opinions in Criminal Cases Each Year Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Last time, we reviewed the distribution of majority opinions in criminal cases among the Justices from 1990 to 2018.  This time, we’re looking at the length of the Justices’ opinions – who wrote the longest and shortest majority opinions?  Of course, the data here is strongly affected the Court’s death penalty opinions, where majority opinions … Continue Reading

Who Wrote the Longest Majority Opinions in Criminal Cases Each Year Since 1990 (Part 1)?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the distribution among the Justices of the Court’s majority opinions in civil cases and identifying which Justice each year wrote the longest and shortest opinions.  Today, we’re looking at the data for the criminal docket. In Table 753, we review the distribution of majority opinions between … Continue Reading

Who Wrote the Longest Majority Opinions in Civil Cases Since 1990 (Part 2)?

Last time, we began our examination of the individual Justices’ writing habits with a review of how the majority opinions in civil cases were distributed from 1990 to 2018.  Today, we’re looking at the average length of those opinions, Justice by Justice. The real lesson we see in Table 749 is that although there are … Continue Reading

Who Wrote the Longest Majority Opinions in Civil Cases Each Year Since 1990?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been studying the average length of the Court’s opinions, looking for insights about the Court’s decision-making.  This week, we’re starting a related topic: which individual Justice tends to write the longest and shortest majority opinions in civil cases?  Today, step one – we trace how many majority opinions each … Continue Reading

Does It Take More Pages to Reverse Than to Affirm in Criminal Cases (2004-2018)?

We’ve established already that majority opinions in cases reversing the Court of Appeal are, on average, generally longer than majority opinions affirming.  Last time, we showed that for criminal cases between 1990 and 2003, the result was flipped – affirmances were nearly always longer.  Today, we’re reviewing the data for the years 2004 to 2018. … Continue Reading

Does It Take More Pages to Reverse Than to Affirm in Criminal Cases (1990-2003)?

Last time, we asked whether majority opinions in civil cases, on average, tend to be longer when the Court reverses than when it affirms.  The answer was, in the vast majority of cases, yes.  Today and tomorrow, we’re asking the same question in criminal cases.  Surprisingly, the answer for criminal cases is the reverse – … Continue Reading

Does It Take More Pages to Reverse Than to Affirm in Civil Cases (2004-2018)?

Last time, we compared the length of majority opinions at the Court in civil cases for reversals and affirmances between 1990 and 2003.  In this post, we’re looking at the years 2004 through 2018. Between 2004 and 2010, in five of seven years reversals averaged longer majority opinions than affirmances.  In 2004, reversals averaged 24.39 … Continue Reading

Does It Take More Pages to Reverse Than to Affirm in Civil Cases (1990-2003)?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been tracking the Court’s history in terms of the length of their opinions – majority opinions, concurrences and dissents.  Today, we’re looking at a related question – is there a relationship between the length of the opinion and the result – are affirmances or reversals consistently longer?  One can … Continue Reading

How Has the Length of the Court’s Opinions in Criminal Cases Changed Over Time (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we began our review of the year-to-year average length of the Court’s opinions in criminal cases – majority opinions, concurrences and dissents, beginning with the years 1990 to 2003.  Today, we’re looking at the years 2004 through 2017. Across the entire fourteen-year period, there is some evidence that majority opinions have edged a bit … Continue Reading

How Has the Length of the Court’s Opinions in Criminal Cases Changed Over Time (Part 1)?

Last week, we reviewed the year-by-year data on the length of the Court’s opinions in civil cases – majorities, concurrences and dissents.  We were looking at two questions: first, are opinions getting longer (or shorter) over time, and second, is there a relationship between longer dissents and longer majorities?  This week, we’re looking at the … Continue Reading

How Has the Length of the Court’s Opinions in Civil Cases Evolved Over Time (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we reviewed the average length of the Court’s opinions – majorities, concurrences and dissents – for the years 1990 through 2003.  Today, we’re bringing the numbers up to the present day. We noted yesterday that majority opinions seemed to have gotten slightly longer on average for the years 1990 through 2003.  For the years … Continue Reading

How Has the Length of the Court’s Opinions in Civil Cases Evolved Over Time (Part 1)?

This week, we’re turning our attention to a new subject – how has the average length of the Court’s majority, concurring and dissenting opinions in civil cases changed between 1990 and 2017?  In studying the numbers, we’re looking for evidence on two points: are opinions getting consistently longer or shorter, whether because of the evolution … Continue Reading

Which Justices Write the Longest Majority Opinions in Death Penalty Appeals (Part 2 – 2008-2015)?

Yesterday, we looked at the distribution and average length of the Court’s majority opinions in criminal cases not involving the death penalty between 2008 and 2015.  Today, we address the distribution of the Court’s most recent death penalty appeals. Between 2008 and 2015, Justice Chin wrote the most majority opinions in death penalty cases with … Continue Reading

Which Justices Write the Longest Majority Opinions in Non-Death Criminal Cases (Part 2 – 2008-2015)?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been analyzing the distribution of majority opinions among the Justices in civil, criminal and death penalty cases, and which Justices tend to write the longest (and shortest) opinions.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal cases between 2008 and 2015.  Once again, we omit the death penalty … Continue Reading

Which Justices Write the Longest Majority Opinions in Civil Cases (Part 2 – 2008-2015)?

Yesterday, we continued our analysis of the Court’s majority opinions, reviewing which Justices wrote most and least often for the Court in non-death criminal matters, and which tended to write the longest and shortest majority opinions for the years 2000-2007.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s majority opinions in civil cases between 2008 … Continue Reading

Which Justices Write the Longest Majority Opinions in Criminal Cases (Part 1 – 2000-2007)?

Last week, we looked at the Justices’ majority opinions in civil and death penalty appeals between 2000 and 2007.  Today, we turn our attention to majority opinions in criminal cases.  Because death penalty majorities are nearly always considerably longer than non-death cases, we limit this part of our analysis to criminal cases not involving the … Continue Reading

Which Justices Write the Longest Majority Opinions in Automatic Death Penalty Appeals (Part 1 – 2000-2007)?

Yesterday, we analyzed the Justices’ history with majority opinions in civil cases between 2000 and 2007.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s history with majority opinions in automatic death penalty appeals.  We separate out death penalty appeals from criminal cases in general because majority opinions in death penalty cases are nearly always considerably … Continue Reading

Which Justices Write the Longest Majority Opinions in Civil Cases (Part 1 – 2000-2007)?

Last week, we concluded our analysis of the distribution of concurring opinions in civil and criminal cases.  This week, we turn our attention to a new topic: the distribution and average length of the Court’s majority opinions.  We begin today with civil opinions between 2000 and 2007. Between 2000 and 2007, Justice Werdegar led the … Continue Reading

Are Majority Opinions Getting Longer In Automatic Death Penalty Appeals (Part 2 – 2008-2015)?

Yesterday, we demonstrated that majority opinions have been getting somewhat longer on average in criminal cases at the California Supreme Court since 2007.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s majority opinions in automatic death penalty appeals.  These two inquiries are not entirely independent; yesterday we were working with overall criminal docket data, including … Continue Reading

Are Majority Opinions Getting Longer in Criminal Cases (Part 2 – 2008-2015)?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been tracking trends in the length of majority opinions at the California Supreme Court.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal opinions during the years 2008 to 2015. In the title, we ask whether majority opinions are getting longer in criminal cases.  The answer is yes.  As … Continue Reading

Are Majority Opinions in Civil Cases Getting Longer (Part 2 – 2008-2015)?

Last week, we began our analysis of the length of the Court’s majority opinions, addressing civil and criminal cases between 2000 and 2007.  Yesterday, we reviewed the Court’s majority opinions in death penalty appeals for the same period.  Today, we turn our attention to majority opinions in civil cases between 2008 and 2015. Overall, there … Continue Reading

Are Majority Opinions in Automatic Death Penalty Appeals Getting Longer (Part 1 – 2000-2007)?

Last week, we began addressing trends in the length of the Court’s majority opinions, reviewing civil and criminal majority opinions between 2000 and 2007.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s majority opinions in automatic death penalty appeals, with the data divided between non-unanimous and unanimous opinions. As we show in Table 114 below, … Continue Reading

Are Majority Opinions in Criminal Cases Getting Longer (Part 1 – 2000-2007)?

Yesterday, we began our review of the length of the California Supreme Court’s majority opinions, addressing the Court’s civil opinions between 2000 and 2007.  Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s majority opinions in criminal cases during the same period. We report the data in Table 113 below.  Two things are evident: first, majority … Continue Reading

Are Majority Opinions in Civil Cases Getting Longer (Part 1 – 2000-2007)?

Last week, we completed our examination of reversal rates and average votes to affirm, District by District of the Court of Appeal.  This week, we turn our attention to another issue: the length of the Court’s opinions.  For context, the average majority opinion from the Illinois Supreme Court, the other court we closely follow, averages … Continue Reading
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