Law.com has Has a Law Professor Found a Better Way to Quantify Circuit Splits for the Justices? — Stanford’s Joseph A. Grundfest says his percentages-rich method involves more than simple “nose counting.”

U.S. Supreme Court lawyers for decades have known of the importance of highlighting “circuit splits” when seeking the justices’ review in a case, but a Stanford Law School professor says there’s a better way to highlight disagreement among lower courts than simple “nose counting.”

In a new paper, Joseph A. Grundfest has debuted a more sophisticated methodology for quantifying the scale of disagreement among lower courts that he says could prove useful for lawyers petitioning for Supreme Court review—and could even come in handy for those opposing such review.

The premise of Grundfest’s new methodology is simple. Rather than just tallying the number of lower federal appeals courts on each side of a legal question, lawyers applying the method would take account of the “market share” of the circuits implicated in the split to more accurately measure the significance of the conflict.

According to one study, around 400 circuit splits arise per year.

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