Friday, February 13, 2009

One Wisconsin Now is a silly child

Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now is a child in need of having a toy taken away, according to David Ziemer of the Wisconsin Law Journal. Ross is accusing Judge Koschnick of being in the bottom third of all circuit court judges for being overturned and even comes up with the wild exaggeration that Koschnick has been overturned in 26% of his cases.

Ross relied upon Ziemer's numbers for his wild claims, prompting this response from Ziemer:

Unfortunately, an irresponsible special interest group called One Wisconsin Now has looked at the numbers and found that Supreme Court candidate Judge Randy Koschnick is in the bottom third of circuit court judges throughout the state.

True perhaps, but, if even one of the 27 cases used to reach that had been an affirmance, rather than a reversal, Judge Koschnick would be above the median, and be in the top half.

One Wisconsin Now also claims that Judge Koschnick is reversed in one-quarter of his cases. This is of course absurd, as my numbers look only at those court of appeals opinions that result in a full opinion. The thousands of cases where trial judges reach the correct result and are not appealed are not included.

The organization also claims there is something remarkable about the cases in which Judge Koschnick is reversed, because the Court of Appeals uses language along the lines of “the circuit court judge applied an incorrect legal standard.”

Of course, we all know that in every case when an appellate court reverses, it says that the wrong legal standard was applied, or the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion, or applied the law incorrectly. Otherwise, the case would be affirmed.

Of course, the Koschnick campaign has produced their own numbers in a statement:

They relied on misleading percentages. The numbers paint a different picture. Judge Koschnick did a CCAP search, and estimates that he's handled over 40,000 cases during his time on the bench. Of those cases, he's been appealed 27 times. Out of those 27 cases, he's been reversed 7 times. So, in the nine years he's been serving the people as a judge, he's handled oer 40,000 cases, and been reversed 7 times. That strikes us as a remarkable quality (and quantity) of justice being delivered to the people.

We can expect cheap partisanship from OWN but I think they owe their donors a refund for their shoddy work.