When Will the Court Decide My Appeal? The Wisconsin Court of Appeals Releases Its Annual Report

27 March 2014 Wisconsin Appellate Law Blog

Each year, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals releases detailed statistics about its caseload from the last year. The data offer an interesting insight into the work of that court. 

The recently released 2013 Annual Report shows that the court continues to face a sizeable caseload. A total of 2758 cases were filed in 2013. A total of 2962 cases were terminated, which works out to 185 terminations per judge. The average time for the court to reach a decision was 256 days, measured from the filing of the notice of appeal. Three-judge opinions take a little longer, 366 days; one-judge opinions run a little shorter, 191 days. Opinions were issued in 1066 of the case terminations (67 per judge), split fairly equally between per curiam opinions (544) and signed opinions (522). For civil cases, 88% of cases were affirmed, with affirmance rates ranging from District II at 93% to District III at 78%. (These numbers exclude certain dismissals, cases reversed in part, etc.)

Though publication was rare (14% of cases decided by opinion were published) and oral argument even rarer (less than 1% of cases submitted were argued), civil cases were the majority of both published decisions and arguments. Of 141 total cases published, 98 were civil cases, as were 9 of the 11 oral arguments.

How do these numbers compare to past years?

2012 saw 2689 cases filed, 1081 opinions issued, an 86% civil affirmance rate, 13% of opinions published (127 total, 86 civil), and oral argument in 11 cases (10 civil). The average number of days to an opinion:  264. In other words, not much has changed in a year.

In contrast, 2003 saw 3453 cases filed, 1213 opinions issued, a 77% civil affirmance rate, 23% of opinions published (247 total, but no civil/criminal breakdown), and oral argument in 48 cases (40 civil). The average time to an opinion was shorter, however, at 212 days.

The complete 2013 report is available here. Past reports are available here.

Circuit court annual statistics are also available. The Wisconsin Supreme Court usually releases its annual statistics in September.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services