©2014. Published in Landslide, Vol. 6, No. 4, March/April 2014, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.
The January/February 2010 issue of Landslide® magazine published the article, “Supreme Court Reversal Rates: Evaluating the Federal Courts of Appeals.”1 In that article, the ratio of cases reversed (or vacated) over the cases reviewed by the Supreme Court for each federal court of appeals was calculated in order to compare the “performance” of each court for October Terms 1999–2008. These calculations showed that the Federal Circuit had the highest reversal rate (83.3 percent) of any of the federal courts of appeals. Based on a typical law school grading curve, the Federal Circuit received a “D” grade and would have received an even worse grade for its patent-related cases, which had a reversal rate of about 92.3 percent.
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