I had the pleasure of chatting with Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, and he wrote a pretty good feature about FantasySCOTUS.net. Check out the interview here.
The old saw goes like this: that lawyers are not risk-takers. That’s part of the reason, we suspect that, David Boies aside, we don’t hear too many tales of BigLaw lawyers ripping it up on the craps tables in Vegas.
But now, at long last, a little gambling operation that gives lawyers — or at least those who follow the Supreme Court — a leg up on all others. It’s, yes, FantasyScotus.net, the self-proclaimed premier Supreme Court fantasy league (and it might be the only, as far as we can tell).
Click here to check it out. The idea behind the site, which is the brainchild of recent George Mason law grad Josh Blackman, is simple: you pick the way you think the Supreme Court will rule on its docket. You’re awarded points for picking the outcome of the case (whether the court affirms or reverses the lower court); the split (9-0, 8-1, 7-2, 6-3, 5-4, 4-1-4, or fragmented); as well as the justices in the majority and the justices in the dissent. It’s $5 or $10 to join, but the fee is waived for students, law clerks and unemployed attorneys.
At the end of the term, all the points accumulated will be tallied, and a winner decreed.
Blackman, currently clerking in the Western District of Pennsylvania, says he thought of the idea in September, shortly after the Citizens United arguments. Says Blackman: “I thought, ‘what if Vegas handicapped this case? What would the odds be?’ I took the thought and ran with it.”
Blackman says his the fees will largely go to cover his costs, and that the point is not to make money. “That’s not at all why I’m doing it,” he says. “I think it’s just cool and gives some variety to my life.”
And what’s the prize? It’s not going to be cash. “I don’t think lawyers would be incentivized by cash. It’s going to be something else, like a golden gavel, maybe one of those Supreme Court bobbleheads.”
We have no idea, LBers, if this idea is going to flop or take off. But it sounded sorta fun to us. If you wind up giving it a whirl, and loving or loathing, let us hear about it.