Now that the Texas Supreme Court’s 2009 season is over, (( The Court’s year ends in August. We’re now starting on the fiscal 2010 calendar. )) it’s time to start counting up the opinions to see which Justices were most prolific.
I’ve compiled the Texas Supreme Court opinion statistics in a form that lets you drill down to see the individual cases and opinions. (( You’ll also notice the word “preliminary” on my stats. They are not official, and I haven’t yet fully reconciled my figures with the Court’s. ))
Justice Johnson wrote the largest number of signed majority opinions of the Court, with twelve majority opinions last term bearing his name.
The prize for most “deciding” opinions — a combination of majority opinions and per curiams — goes to Justice Green. He wrote 10 signed and 10 unsigned deciding opinions. (( My thanks to the Court for an early look at the breakdown of per curiam opinions. ))
Justice Willett. wrote the most concurrences — five — all of which were individual separate opinions.
Justice O’Neill wrote the most dissents with six. In four of those cases, Justice O’Neill wrote the dissent in a 5-4 case. In the other two, her opinion had a total of three votes.
The largest total number of opinions was written by Justice Brister, who finished second in every major category (10 majorities, 6 per curiams, 4 concurrences, 5 dissents, and 1 opinion dissenting from the denial of review). He wrote 26 opinions overall — one every two weeks.
Please let me know if you see other interesting patterns in these numbers. I’m also working up some ways to look at voting patterns on the Court.