||Rory Perry's Weblog
Law, technology, and the courts
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Calculating the percentage of appellate petitions granted
One type of question I'm sometimes asked by attorneys and others relates to the chances of getting an appellate petition heard by the Court. I can provide these numbers in a variety of case categories, and the grant percentage is included in our annual statistical report (See pg. 9 of the 2002 Annual Report [pdf].) Crunching statistics today for a report due to the National Center for State Courts, I noticed a misleading calculation in one of their published reports, showing that the West Virginia Supreme Court granted only 2% of civil petitions in 2001. Wrong. The true figure is 38.62% (better than a 1 in 3 chance of getting in -- which is a much better chance than most courts of last resort, I would hazard to guess.) Why the disparity? --a difference in how the grant percentage is derived. Some folks compare the number of petitions filed in a given year with the number granted review in a given year. However, because of the lag time in considering petitions, and annual filing fluctuations, in my opinion this approach yields a misleading figure.
The true percentage of cases granted has more to do with the total number of petitionsconsidered in a given year, rather than the number filed in a given year. So when I publish grant percentages, the numbers are based upon the total number of petitions in a given category that are considered by the Court in a given year, and, of that total, how many were granted or refused. This seems to be a much cleaner and more accurate reflection of the Court's work in a given year. This is important, because when I get those questions, I want to provide accurate information; to some extent attorneys rely on my answers to counsel clients as to whether to bring a petition for appeal, based on the historical data of how many such cases the Court has agreed to review in the past. I'm attending a meeting of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks next week, and I'm putting this issue on my list to discuss with my colleagues. 6:02:34 PM [Permanent Link]
|A weblog about information issues in the courts, with occassional diversions, authored by the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Top 7 hits for GJXDM on..
11/10/05; 2:44:04 PM.
US COURTS of LAST RESORT:Supreme Court of the US
, OK (Civ Crim
, TX (Civ Crim
, WYFULL LIST
, including intermediate appellate courts, US possessions, and tribal courts.
jenett.radio.simplicity.1.3R [as modified by rlp]