The fact that there are so often differing opinions among judges is evidence that the law frequently is subject to interpretation. This characteristic of the law heightens the impact of judicial rulings and makes these evaluations an important informational tool.
The cases chosen for evaluation we believe will have the effect either of slowing the spread of liability in the law or accelerating it. The report evaluates both cases that affect liability in particular industries and professions, such as manufacturing, insurance and health care, and cases in areas that affect business and institutional liability in general - areas such as employment law, workers' compensation, and torts. One case has been summarized to give the reader an insight into the analysis involved in evaluating the cases. This summary is located at the beginning of the case index. The remaining cases in the report are not summarized in the report, but are listed and show the ratings given to the current judges who participated in the decisions.
We include cases spanning a period of years. As a general rule, the greater the number of cases reviewed, the higher the degree of confidence we have in our understanding of the general philosophy of each judge. A judge who has been on the court longer usually have participated in more cases.
Each judge has been assigned an overall score. The overall score indicates the percentage of cases evaluated in which we believe the judge made a decision that tends to have the effect of moderating the spread of liability in the state's law and, consequently, in the state's economic and institutional life. The higher the score, the more often the judge's rulings have had this effect.