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The Business of State Supreme Courts, Revisited


Herbert M. Kritzer


University of Minnesota Law School

Paul Brace


Rice University - Department of Political Science

Melinda Gann Hall


Michigan State University - Department of Political Science; Department of Political Science

Brent D. Boyea


University of Texas at Arlingtion

December 20, 2006

Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1033

Abstract:     
In this research note we employ data from the State Supreme Court Data Project to update Kagan et al.'s study of the docket composition of state supreme courts. Our analysis shows that many of the patterns of change described by Kagan et al. continued through the 20th century: debt and real property continued to decline and criminal continued to increase. However, other patterns of change either reversed or halted. Specifically, neither torts nor family cases have continued to increase; torts have stabilized and family cases, rather than increasing, have declined. The most surprising shift is the sharp increase in other contract, which had no particular pattern in the earlier data, but which represented five percent or less of the courts' business; in the 1990s, other contracts had grown to a level approaching that of public law, and exceeding real property and family and estate cases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: state supreme court, litigation

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Date posted: December 21, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Kritzer, Herbert M. and Brace, Paul and Hall, Melinda Gann and Boyea, Brent D., The Business of State Supreme Courts, Revisited (December 20, 2006). Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1033. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=952795 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.952795

Contact Information

Herbert M. Kritzer (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota Law School ( email )
229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
Paul Brace
Rice University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States
Melinda Gann Hall
Michigan State University - Department of Political Science ( email )
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-432-2380 (Phone)
Department of Political Science ( email )
Brent D. Boyea
University of Texas at Arlingtion ( email )
Department of Political Science
601 S. Nedderman Drive, Box 19539
Arlington, TX 76019
United States
817-272-5449 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.uta.edu/faculty/bboyea/
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