The CCA is accepting fewer cases for discretionary review. This has helped it become as current on its docket as at any time I remember. No case on its PDR docket has been pending (awaiting decision) longer than Leonard (PD-0551-10),in which review was granted on 09-29-10. And only three cases on its PDR docket arrived there more than a year ago. I am uncertain whether this is reducing the average or mean times between submission and issuance of an opinion, but it seems like that should be true also. Some have suggested the CCA should try to dispose of cases on a "term" basis like the Supreme Court of the United States. Maybe some changes approaching that method are now within reach.
An update: The court has presumably concluded its grants of review until after the summer "recess." As of today, it has only 68 granted PDRs pending. While three have been awaiting decision for more than a year, more than 82% of those pending were granted review less than six months ago.
As of today there were only 50 pending cases in which discretionary review had been granted. That could easily be a record low number. And the oldest, but yet undecided, case (Jacobs, PD-1411-16) has been on the docket for only just over 17 months. In 26 of the 50 cases, review was granted less than six months ago. Exactly what all has driven this progress toward timely resolution of PDRs remains unclear, but it seems to be a good development. 54% of the pending cases involve review granted at the request of the State.
My first thought would be to look at the number of PDR's granted in the last year or two. If they are granting less than normal then that would explain why there would be less pending. Just my initial thought.
The OCA tracks stats for all the appellate courts, and the legislature pays attention to disposition rates and time to dispose of cases. Disposing of cases in a timely fashion is a good thing--justice delayed is justice denied. That said, I wish we could get more time from the CCA for briefing.
Posts: 2134 | Location: McKinney, Texas, USA | Registered: February 15, 2001