At last night’s meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee, statistics for the court year that ended on August 31, 2013 were presented. Most of those figures remain relatively constant year to year, and this year was no exception, as can be seen by a comparison of the 2011-12 statistics to those of the recently completed year.
The 2012-13 figures for civil appeals showed that 75% of appeals decided by two-judge panels were affirmed, while 70% of appeals handled by three-judge panels resulted in affirmances. On the criminal side, 85% of two-judge cases and 73% of three-judge decisions were affirmances. A higher percentage of affirmances in two-judge cases than in three-judge cases is the usual result. For the second year in a row, however, there was a higher percentage of reversals in two-judge civil cases (16%) than in three-judge civil appeals (15%). The reversal rate in criminal appeals, however, adhered to form, with 11% of two-judge criminal appeals and 17% of three-judge criminal cases resulting in reversals.
Of the appeals of all types that were argued orally, 69% ended with affirmances, while 81% of cases not argued were affirmed. 18% of argued appeals and 12% of submitted cases resulted in reversals. Those figures are very close to those from the 2011-12 court year.
Finally, 17% of all motions for leave to appeal were granted, compared to 19% in the 2011-12 year. Grants of leave to appeal were more frequent on the criminal side, where many motions for leave to appeal are filed by the State, seeking to contest decisions to exclude evidence. A total of 38% of motions for leave to appeal in criminal cases were granted, while only 11% of motions for leave to appeal in civil cases were granted. The figures for 2011-12 were 39% and 15% for criminal and civil, respectively.