ABA Journal Profiles FantasySCOTUS and {Marshall}+

November 26th, 2014

12141214OSCOTUS250pxFantasySCOTUS and {Marshall}+ are profiled in the December ABA Journal Magazine. Here are my pull quotes:

The predictor is the brainchild of law professors Josh Blackman, Michael Bommarito and Dan Katz. It is based on a mathematical concept called the ensemble tree model [sic: it should be extremely random trees], which adapts and changes as it gains more information, Blackman says.

“The goal of ensemble is to find out what people do better and what computers do better, and then we can calibrate them to judge appropriately,” says Blackman, an assistant professor at South Texas College of Law. “This isn’t about computers running roughshod over lawyers. This is about using intelligence to make the best decisions.” …

Blackman plans to pit the predictor against his FantasySCOTUS league during the court’s current session.

While the profs think humans will win this year, they expect the computer model to succeed in the future.

And it’s not just for fun. Blackman sees a “strong enough market for lower court analytics that this will eventually come there and be in widely available use for lawyers at that level.”