The Petition for Review

Our latest repost:

We begin our analysis by addressing the foundation of the entire body of data analytic scholarship on appellate judging: competing theories of judicial decision making.

The oldest theory by far is generally known in the literature as “formalism.”  This is the theory we all learned in law school, according to which every

Our short series of contextual reposts continues:

Although the state Supreme Courts have not attracted anything near the level of study from academics engaged in empirical legal studies that the U.S. Supreme Courts and Federal Circuits have a number of different researchers have attempted to compare how influential the various state courts are for the

I’m always surprised when I encounter litigators who dismiss litigation analytics as a passing fad.  In fact, as shown in the reprint post below, it’s a century-long academic enterprise which has produced many hundreds of studies conclusively proving through tens of thousands of pages of analysis the value of data analytics in better understanding how

The Illinois Supreme Court Review recently marked its sixth anniversary.  In April, this blog turns five.

So I thought it was time for a first: cross-posted reprints from the earliest days of the blogs.  My early attempts to provide context for the work and to answer the question I often heard in those days: “Interesting,

Last time, we reviewed the Court’s civil cases, asking whether divided decisions from the Court of Appeal were more likely to be reversed in whole or in part than unanimous ones.  This time, we’re turning our attention to the criminal cases and finding a very different result.

In only four of the past thirty-one years

Two weeks ago, we addressed the question of how common cases with a dissent at the Court of Appeal were on the Supreme Court’s docket.  Our analysis illuminated the issue of whether it’s true that there’s no point in pursuing a petition for review from a unanimous Court of Appeal decision.

This week, we’re digging

Last time, we reviewed the share of the Supreme Court’s civil caseload made up of decisions with a dissenter at the Court of Appeal.  Now let’s look at the criminal cases.

It turns out dissenters are even less important on the criminal side.  In 1990, only 1.25% of the criminal docket had a dissenter below. 

Last week we looked at the frequently heard claim that getting Supreme Court review of an unpublished decision of the Court of Appeal is a hopeless task.  This week, we’re looking at a similar bit of conventional wisdom – the Supreme Court doesn’t review unanimous decisions from the Court of Appeal.

In the table below,

Last time, we showed that for the most part since 1990, anywhere from twenty to forty-five percent of the Court’s civil decisions have arisen from unpublished decisions at the Court of Appeal.  This time we’re looking at the Court’s criminal docket.

Unpublished Court of Appeal decisions are far from the exception in criminal cases –