Compilation of Survey Responses

What's in this guide?

Summarized results of the 2015 survey and the innovations being put into place by many appellate courts.  

  Main Appellate Page
    Summary of Appellate Innovations Survey
    Widespread Technology Innovations
    Technology Innovations On the Horizon
    Preparing the Record
    Briefing Stage
    Case Assignment/Scheduling
    Preparing Opinion/Decision
    Other Innovations

For more information about the Appellate Innovations Survey, please email John Doerner.

Courts of Last Resort (COLR)

Responses were received from 25 courts of last resort; circulation of the survey went to a total of 58 courts of last resort (the 50 states plus 2 in TX and OK, the District of Columbia, Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of Guam, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa).

Response Rate: 25 / 58 = 43%

Of the respondents, 17 indicated that there is an intermediate appellate court in their jurisdiction and 8 indicated that there is not.
        Respondents with an IAC:    17 / 25 = 68%
        Respondents without an IAC:  8  / 25 = 32%

Intermediate Appellate Courts (IAC)

Responses were received from 33 courts; circulation of the survey went to a total of 93 intermediate appellate courts (11 of the 50 states have no IAC, while a number of states have multiple appellate courts).  Nevada’s IAC did respond although they had just begun operations in July 2015.

Response Rate: 33 / 93 = 35%

The survey was structured to provide information from responding courts regarding the attention that was given to the overall time to disposition and the description of any organizational, procedural or technological innovations that had been implemented or that were being considered.  Moreover, the appellate process was sub-divided into four key stages to better focus the application of the innovations reported.  These four appellate stages are:

1. Establishing the Record on Appeal
2. Briefing
3. Case Assignment/Oral Argument
4. Preparing the Opinion/Decision

Appellate Courts Approach to the Time to Disposition

Each appellate court was asked to answer some questions with respect to their approach to the issue of time to disposition; i.e. how prevalent of an issue is it?  

In recent years (5 – 10), has the court given consideration to the usual length of time it takes to resolve appellate cases and what actions would be necessary to reduce that time? 

    COLR     IAC 
Yes    96%    88% 
No    4%    12% 

Does the court as a whole consider the usual length of time that it takes to resolve appellate cases, measured from the initial filing to disposition, as: 
    COLR    IAC 
  40%    58% 
  48%    12% 
USUALLY TOO LONG      0%    6% 

Has the court established time standards by which to measure time to disposition? 
    COLR     IAC 
YES – Explicit time standards     32%    58% 
YES – Implicit time standards or guidelines 
  56%   18% 
NO    12%    24%