A recent paper by Herbert Kritzer (Wisc.--poli sci) et al., The Business of State Supreme Courts, Revisited, sets out to update Kagan et al.'s earlier study of the docket composition of state supreme courts. I am partial to such undertakings (updating, revisiting, and/or replicating important past work) and welcome attention to the comparatively understudied state courts. Kritzer and his colleagues find:
"... many of the patterns of change described by Kagan et al. continued through the 20th century: debt and real property continued to decline and criminal continued to increase. However, other patterns of change either reversed or halted. Specifically, neither torts nor family cases have continued to increase; torts have stabilized and family cases, rather than increasing, have declined. The most surprising shift is the sharp increase in "other contract", which had no particular pattern in the earlier data, but which represented five percent or less of the courts' business; in the 1990s, "other contracts" had grown to a level approaching that of public law, and exceeding real property and family and estate cases."