Yesterday I blogged here about AOC stats appearing to show a jaw-dropping jump in 2017 in the number of Third Circuit cases (a) decided after oral arg, (b) by published opinion, and (c) reversing. The post was by-and-large accurate, but the AOC data it was based on was wildly misleading.
The apparent cause of the problem is that the AOC reports the number of cases decided after oral argument, by published opinion, and reversing — NOT the number of oral arguments, published opinions, and reversals.
That becomes a problem when, after one oral argument, a court issues one published opinion reversing over 500 cases. Which is what happened in March 2017 in In re: Fosamax. (My thanks to Twitter user @VillanovaRhodes for spotting Fosamax as the source of the problem.)
In my view, the AOC’s data-reporting methodology is flawed. Counting one oral argument, one opinion, and one reversal 500 times renders otherwise-valuable data useless and–at least for dummies like me–misleading.
In any event, I sincerely apologize to readers for failing to interpret the statistics correctly in my original post.