This Week by the Numbers: Bar Exam Glitch, Bad News Sterling and Predicting SCOTUS Decisions

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What’s more stressful than taking the bar exam? Test-takers across multiple states found out this week, thanks to a software snafu that prevented them from uploading their answers to a server. ExamSoft Worldwide, which oversees the database, said the flub took the company “approximately six hours longer than usual to process all of the exam takers’ answers onto our servers” but maintained that the glitch had no effect on the takers’ answer content. Yes, but what about their health? That kind of thing can take years off a young lawyer’s life — or at least necessitate a multi-week extension of one’s “bar trip.”



The Delaware Supreme Court just swore in its second female justice — ever. Congratulations to Karen Knox Valihura!


$2 Billion

A California judge has tentatively approved the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers in a ruling against the team’s owner, Donald Sterling. Sterling claims the sale, which is being negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, is all part of a conspiracy to give him the boot. Judge Michael Levanas said he has found “no credible or compelling evidence” to support the allegations.



An assistant professor at South Texas College of Law says he’s found a way to predict decisions of the Supreme Court’s individual justices with a pretty impressive 70.9% accuracy rate. Josh Blackman writes on his blog that the computer model he developed with two colleagues has also correctly identified 69.7% of the high court’s affirm and reverse decisions since 1953, using only data that was available before the court’s ruling. Blackmun writes that the model “has proven consistently accurate at predicting six decades of behavior of thirty Justices appointed by thirteen Presidents.”

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