A friend recently pointed out something that should have been obvious, but wasn’t. Like many other appellate courts, the Court of Appeals of Virginia holds its decision conference immediately after oral argument.

I knew this, but I don’t think I appreciated what it meant until we started taking about it. Obviously, appellate judges are well-prepared.

Over the last two months, the Court of Appeals has issued almost 160 opinions. The vast majority of those opinions are unpublished; the court is issuing about 7 unpublished opinions for every published opinion. So the default rule seems to not to publish opinions.

This is interesting for several reasons. First, Code § 17.1-413(A)

Every Tuesday, the Court of Appeals hands down its published and unpublished opinions. And every Tuesday, those unpublished opinions seem to include a least a case or two where the court summarily affirms because the appellant has failed to ensure that the record includes a transcript or written statement of facts.

Now, some of these

At the VBA’s summer meeting last month, Judges Ortiz and Martin presented their annual review of civil decisions from the Supreme Court of Virginia. Judge Ortiz shared a few eye-opening statistics:

  • In 2022, SCOVA