This post isn’t about legal writing, but those of you who are appellate lawyers may find it useful.
Earlier today I was asked the reversal rates for the U.S. Fifth Circuit. Those numbers, and many others for all the U.S. courts of appeal, are on web site of the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, on the statistics page (which you can reach by clicking the “Statistics” tab on the home page). Once you’re on the statistics page, scroll down and look in the left-hand column for “Statistical Tables for the Federal Judiciary,” and click on the time period you’re most interested in (probably the most recent, but for a more accurate study you’ll want to look at a range of dates). When you click on a time period, you’ll be presented with a screen full of links to various tables. Look for “Table B-5, Appeals Terminated on the Merits, by Circuit.” Click there, and you’ll download a tidy PDF file like this one dated December 2009.
By the way, the most recent reversal rate in the U.S. 5th Circuit for “other private civil” (my usual practice area) was 15.4%.