Is oral argument associated with published opinions?

A case at the COA can be on one of three calendars:
1.     The published calendar;
2.     The fast-track calendar; or
3.     The juvenile-3.1 calendar.
In addition, it is possible that a case does not appear on any calendar if it is remanded or a petition for rehearing is granted.  While the published calendar is available to the public on the COA’s website, the fast-track and juvenile-3.1 calendars are sent to only the parties that appear on the calendar.  Finally, it is my understanding that unless a case is scheduled for oral argument on the published calendar, it is ruled on without oral argument pursuant to Rule 30(f).  Thus, there is some guess work involved in the information I am sharing below.


In 2015, the COA issued 1019 opinions.  I separated these opinions based on the type of calendar the case appeared on and then separated the orally argued cases from the other cases on the published calendar.  I then determined how many cases in each category were published as shown in the table below.


Published
Unpublished
Oral Argument
78
13
Published
227
437
Juvenile 3.1
29
101
Fast Track
0
126
None
4
4



I then calculated what percentage of cases in each category obtained a published opinion as shown in the table below.



Published Opinion
Unpublished Opinion
Oral Argument
86%
14%
Published
34%
66%
Juvenile 3.1
22%
78%
Fast Track
0 %
100%
None
50%
50%


As you can see, having oral argument is more strongly associated with published opinions than any other category.