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Scoring Rules

Points are awarded to a firm for each of the following degrees of participation and success in the Supreme Court.

1 point: Amicus brief—regardless of outcome.
2 points: Amicus brief and oral argument—regardless of outcome.
3 points: Brief, but no oral argument—and an unfavorable outcome.
4 points: Brief, but no oral argument—and a 3-3 decision.
5 points: Brief and oral argument—and an unfavorable outcome.[1]
6 points: Brief and oral argument—and a 3-3 decision.
8 points: Brief, but no oral argument—and a favorable outcome.
10 points: Brief and oral argument—and a favorable outcome.[2]

Cases eligible for scoring are limited to merits decisions.  They do not include such things as disciplinary rulings, orders pertaining to editorial revisions of previous decisions, motions for reconsideration, and rulings by the Board of Bar Examiners. 

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[1] Let’s suppose that a decision was unfavorable for the petitioner, and his attorneys were listed as follows: “For the plaintiff-appellant-petitioner, there were briefs by Bob Smith and Bob Smith Law Offices, and Bill Jones, and Bill Jones Law Offices, and oral argument by Bill Jones.”  Given that the decision was unfavorable, Bob Smith Law Offices would receive 3 points (for the brief), and Bill Jones Law Offices would receive 5 points (for the brief and oral argument).  Of course, there is no way to determine from this record how much each firm actually contributed to the briefing and the preparation for oral argument—but that is not a concern here.  This venture is simply for entertainment.

[2] Using the same hypothetical example presented above, but this time assuming a favorable outcome, Bob Smith Law Offices would receive 8 points (for the brief), and Bill Jones Law Offices would receive 10 points (for the brief and oral argument).