Archives: Oral Argument Question Patterns

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Can You Predict a Split Decision in Criminal Cases at the California Supreme Court After Oral Argument?

Now we turn to the data for the criminal docket.  In outright reversals, respondents averaged more questions than appellants in three of five years between 2016 and 2020 – 2016, 2018 and 2020. We mentioned in a previous post that there was some indication – notwithstanding the tiny data sets – that partial reversals might … Continue Reading

Can You Predict a Split Decision in Civil Cases at the California Supreme Court After Oral Argument?

Last week, we reviewed the academic literature on oral argument analytics and compared the data on oral arguments at the California Supreme Court.  Last week, we aggregated the data on reversals – reversals plus partial reversals (“affirmed in part, reversed in part”).  This week, we’re checking if the oral argument data is any different for … Continue Reading

Can a Winner Be Predicted In California Supreme Court Criminal Case Oral Arguments?

Yesterday, we surveyed the academic literature in oral argument analytics and then reviewed the data for 2016-2020 civil cases from the Supreme Court.  Today, we’re looking at the criminal docket. Between its earliest posted arguments in 2016 and the end of August, the Court asked 8,256 questions in criminal, quasi-criminal, juvenile and mental health matters: … Continue Reading

Can a Winner Be Predicted In California Supreme Court Civil Case Oral Arguments?

Today, we begin a new subject in our ongoing analytics study of the Court’s decision making – oral arguments.  Although the academic community has been producing analytics studies of appellate decision making for a century, the analytics study of oral arguments is a much more recent development. [We repeat the next five paragraphs for the … Continue Reading

What Can Individual Justices’ Questioning Reveal About the Decision – Criminal Cases 2018

Last time, we reviewed the Court’s oral arguments in criminal cases at the macro level – data on the whole court.  This time, we’re going micro – what can we predict about individual Justices’ votes and writing based on the oral arguments? In Table 1024, we report average questions per Justice in criminal cases.  All … Continue Reading

Is the Party Getting More Questions Likely to Lose – Criminal Cases 2018

In our next two posts, we’re reviewing the data for the Court’s oral arguments in criminal cases during 2018. In all, the Justices asked 1,103 questions of appellants and 896 of appellees. That works out to 22.06 questions to the appellant, and 17.92 to the appellee. We’ve shown before that most argument analytics studies have … Continue Reading

What Can Individual Justices’ Questioning Forecast About the Result – Civil Cases 2018

Justices Cuellar and Liu were the most frequent questioners during civil cases in 2018.  Justice Cuellar averaged 5.42 questions of appellants, 5.94 of appellees and 0.48 in rebuttals.  Justice Liu averaged 4.33 of appellants, 6.15 of appellees and 1.24 in rebuttals.  Justice Corrigan averaged 2.42 questions in appellants, 2.18 of appellees and 0.64 in rebuttals.  … Continue Reading

Is the Party Getting More Questions Likely to Lose – Civil Arguments 2018

This time, we’re looking at the oral arguments in civil cases in 2018.  For new readers, you can review the history of data analytics for oral arguments here. For civil cases decided last year, the Court asked 958 questions of appellants and 889 of appellees – an average of 29.03 questions to appellants and 26.94 … Continue Reading

Does the California Supreme Court Average More Questions to the Losing Side?

Yesterday, for post no. 1,000 we reviewed the academic literature on question-counting in oral arguments, and began comparing the past year, May 2016-May 2017, at the California and Illinois Supreme Courts.  Every researcher to date – including us in our study of the Illinois Supreme Court 2008-2016 – found that getting more questions than your … Continue Reading

Blog Post No. 1,000: Comparing Oral Argument in the California and Illinois Supreme Courts

Today marks the milestone of my 1,000th blog post since Appellate Strategist began publishing on February 23, 2010. I thought we’d do a first today: comparing the two Supreme Courts we study in the same post.  Specifically, since I’ve had the honor of appearing at both the California and Illinois Supreme Courts, I thought we’d … Continue Reading
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