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Wisconsin Supreme Court issues unprecedented number of nonprecedential opinions

Some records are not worth breaking. For SCOW, issuing the largest number of fractured, nonprecedential opinions in its history (at least since records have been kept) is surely one of them. SCOWstats just released its preliminary data on the 2016-2017 term. The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a meager 51 opinions–42 if you subtract the 1 decision that split 3-3 and the 8 decisions that failed to provide a precedential, majority opinion. One could argue that 18% of SCOW’s docket created instability in the law–ironic given that its purpose is, in part, to develop, clarify and harmonize the law. See §809.62(1r).

 

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