Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Federal court statistics available today

"An in-depth look at the caseload of the federal courts can be found in the 2013 Judicial Business of the U.S. Courts, released today by the Administrative Office. ... Filings in the courts of appeals ... fell in FY 2013."

Sifting through the data for what you care about most, timing & results:

Table B4-A -- Median Time Intervals:
From notice of appeal to opinion in appeals from district courts to the 9th Circuit = 13.1 months overall and 19.5 months for civil appeals [yes, the slowest Circuit by over seven months]: 10.5 of those months being the waiting time from the last brief until oral argument/submission [yes, this is by FAR the slowest of all the circuits -- the next slowest is the 4th Circuit 4.8 months] and 1.5 months waiting time from argument to opinion.

Table B5 -- Appeals Terminated on the Merits (i.e., outcomes!):
Overall 9th Circuit reversal rate = 8.3%
For appeals involving the United States = 15.4%
For private civil appeals = 18.1%

Also of note today, Law360 has an article (by Robert Carty and Dawn Solowey at Seyfarth) titled 5 Tips for In-House Counsel Reviewing Appellate Briefs, which identifies the following red flags:
Red Flag No. 1: Stilted Writing
Red Flag No. 2: Lack of Focus
Red Flag No. 3: The Standard of Review is Missing in Action
Red Flag No. 4: Compromised Credibility
Red Flag No 5: Misunderstanding the Audience