Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog’s Supreme Court Challenge

Official Contest Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

  1. About the Contest

Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog’s Supreme Court Challenge (the “Contest”) places teams of law students in a head-to-head competition to test both their collective knowledge of the Supreme Court and their ability to analyze legal decisions. Each team (each, a “Student Team” and, collectively, “Student Teams”) will compete for the title of Supreme Court Experts by facing off against other Student Teams from around the country as well as the SCOTUSblog expert team, including the publisher Tom Goldstein (the “SCOTUSblog Expert Team”). Student Teams will use only materials found on Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog, including – but not limited to – the principal U.S. Supreme Court briefs, lower court opinions, news, any relevant statutes and regulations, podcasts, Justice profiles, and other relevant Supreme Court opinions, to predict the outcome of six (6) merit cases (“Merit Cases”) and six (6) petitions for certiorari (“Cert. Petitions”) to be heard by the Supreme Court as well as how each Supreme Court Justice will vote on the cases. Student Teams will also be allowed to use collaborative tools on Bloomberg Law, such as Workspaces and Alerts, to work together to make their picks.

  1. How To Enter

The Contest registration period begins at 10:00 am (EST) on February 17, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 pm (EST) on March 22, 2014 (the “Registration Period”). The period in which Student Teams can enter the Contest will begin at 10:00:00 am (EST) on February 10, 2014 and end at 11:59:59 pm (EST) on March 31, 2014 (the “Entry Period”).

A law student is allowed to register and participate on one team only.

During the Registration Period:

Each participating law student will visit the Contest website at www.scotuscompetition.com (the “Contest Website”) to register for the Contest. Each Student Team may consist of up to five (5) law students who all currently attend the same United States ABA-accredited law school (collectively, the “Team Members”). Each Student Team will designate a team captain (the “Team Captain”), who will register the team name and invite Team Members to join the Student Team through the Contest Website. Team Members must accept an email invitation to join a Student Team in order to participate in the Contest. Student Teams consisting of one (1) law student must register a team name of which the participating law student will be the Team Captain.

During the Entry Period:

Each member of a Student Team must use his or her Bloomberg Law account during the Entry Period. If a student does not have a Bloomberg Law account, then he must register for a free law school account. Each member of a Student Team must complete a viewing of the Bloomberg Law’s 2014 Supreme Court Challenge training videos on the Bloomberg Law website. Student Teams may only use information housed on SCOTUSblog and Bloomberg Law to complete their research and make their final selections.

Each Team Captain must visit the Contest Website to submit ALL required information relating to each merits decision prediction and each petition for certiorari prediction on behalf of the team (the “Entries”). Each Team Captain must also submit the team’s prediction for the total number of days from the date that the first merits case is argued to the date that it is decided as a potential tie breaker question (the “Tie Breaker”). (The date that the case is argued, the date that the case is decided, holidays, and weekends are all included in the total number of days.) Any Student Team that does not submit all required information in the correct format within the Entry Period will be disqualified from the Contest.

  1. Eligibility

Must be 18 years or older to enter. This Contest is open to all matriculated students enrolled in a Juris Doctor (JD) or LLM program at an ABA-accredited law school in the United States. All full-time students, part-time students, evening program, and dual degree students are eligible to participate. Employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives, and immediate family and household members (spouses, parents, siblings, and children) of Bloomberg Law, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., SCOTUSblog, and their parent, affiliate and subsidiary companies are not eligible to participate in the Contest or to win.

  1. Sponsor

The Contest is sponsored by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.,, 1801 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA 22202 and SCOTUSblog, 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 404A, Washington, DC 20015 (collectively, the “Sponsors”).

  1. Agreement to Official Rules

Participation in the Contest constitutes each entrant’s full acceptance and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning one of the prizes set forth below is contingent upon each entrant’s being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein.

  1. Selection of Winners

All Entries will be judged upon decisions of the United States Supreme Court in the merits cases and petitions selected. Entries will be scored by the Sponsors based on the following criteria (the “Judging Criteria”). Merits cases: each Student Team will receive five (5) points for correctly predicting the prevailing party in the case, two (2) points for correctly predicting the Overall Vote (defined as the breakdown of the Justices voting in the majority and/or in the minority of the Supreme Court decision), and a half (.5) point for correctly predicting each Justice’s position on the case. Cert. Petitions: each Student Team will receive three (3) points for correctly predicting that the Cert. Petition will be granted, one (1) point for correctly predicting that the Cert. Petition will be denied, five (5) points for correctly predicting a Call for the Views of the Solicitor General (defined as the decision of the Supreme Court prior to granting cert. in a case where the United States is not a party to request the view of the federal government from the Solicitor General), five (5) points for correctly predicting a Summary Reversal, or three (3) points for correctly predicting the Cert. Petition will be held (defined as the Supreme Court’s decision to hold a case in abeyance, pending the disposition of another case). The Student Team with the highest number of total points will be deemed the first-place winner (the “First-Place Winner”), the team with the second-highest total points will be deemed the second-place winner (the “Second-Place Winner”), and the team with the third-highest total points will be deemed the third-place winner (the “Third-Place Winner”). In the event of a tie, the team whose response to the Tie Breaker question is closest to the actual number of days between the day of the argument and the day the opinion is actually rendered will be determined to be the winner for each place. If there is a tie in the outcome of the Tie Breaker question, all winning teams who tied in the Tie Breaker question will evenly share the prize. Potential winners will be notified by email and/or telephone, at the discretion of the Sponsors. Potential winners must respond within three (3) business days of receipt of notice. If a potential winner declines to accept the prize, has violated any of these Official Rules, or fails to respond within the required time period, then an alternate winner may be selected, at Sponsors’ discretion, based on the next-highest score achieved. Sponsors reserve the right to not award the prize if any potential winners do not respond within the required time.

  1. Prizes/Odds

Sponsors will award cash prizes to the three (3) highest-scoring Student Teams and highest scoring Student Team in each of the five (5) regions (excluding the First, Second and Third-Place winners) as follows: a prize of three thousand and five hundred dollars ($3,500) to the First-Place Winner, a prize of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) to the Second-Place Winner, and a prize of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to the Third-Place Winner  and five hundred dollars ($500) to the highest scoring team in each of the five (5) regions. If the score of a winning Student Team is also higher than the score of the SCOTUSblog Expert Team, then that winning team will receive a bonus prize as follows: one thousand and five hundred dollars ($1,500) for the First-Place Winner for a total prize of five thousand dollars ($5,000), one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the Second-Place Winner for a total prize of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), and five hundred dollars ($500) for the Third-Place Winner for a total prize of one-thousand five-hundred dollars ($1,500). The winning regional teams will not receive an additional bonus prize. All prizes will be paid out to the Team Captain on behalf of the team. The Team Captain is responsible for distributing evenly to all team members. All taxes and all other expenses, costs, or fees associated with the acceptance of any prize are the sole responsibility of the Winning Teams participants.

Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Any prize details not specified above will be determined by the Sponsors in its sole discretion. Prizes are not transferable and must be accepted as awarded.

  1. Publicity

Except where prohibited, participation in the Contest constitutes the entrant’s consent for the Sponsors and their respective designees to use the entrant’s first and last name, likeness, prize information, Law School attended, and any comments, testimonials, or other feedback related to any prize or entrant’s Contest experience, whether written or oral, for all purposes, including reproduction, publication, broadcast and display on the Internet and in all media, including all forms of television, and for advertising and promotion without additional compensation. In addition, by submitting Entries, Team Members agree that all Entries become the property of Sponsors and Sponsors may use the entries for all purposes, including reproduction, publication, broadcast and display on the Internet and in all media, including all forms of television, and for advertising and promotion without additional compensation unless required by law, and that Team Members will have no recourse against Sponsors or their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries and their respective employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents for any alleged or actual infringement or misappropriation of any proprietary rights in the Entries.

  1. General Conditions

The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. VOID WHERE PROHITIBED BY LAW. In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but, not limited to, fraud, virus or other technical problems, the Sponsors may, in their sole discretion, either: (a) cancel or terminate the Contest; (b) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that Sponsors believe best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (c) award the prize according to the Judging Criteria from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any team it finds to be acting in violation of the Official Rules of this Contest. In the event Sponsors are prevented from continuing with the Contest or the integrity and/or feasibility of the Contest is severely undermined by any event beyond the control of Sponsors, including but not limited to fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, or any federal, state or local government law, order, or regulation, order of any court or jurisdiction, infection by computer virus, unauthorized intervention, technical failures or other cause not reasonably within the control of Sponsors (each a “Force Majeure” event or occurrence), Sponsors shall have the right, in their sole discretion, to abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel or terminate the Contest without any further obligation. Any attempt by Team Members or any other person to deliberately damage the website or undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil laws; and should such an attempt be made, Sponsors reserve the right to seek remedies and damages (including attorneys’ fees) from any such entrant or other person to the fullest extent permitted by law, including seeking criminal prosecution. The Sponsors’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

This Contest is governed by these Official Rules. Each entrant warrants that he or she has read, and agrees to abide and be bound by, all Contest rules and that he or she is not prohibited from participating in this Contest by any applicable law, statute, regulation or other appropriate authority.

  1. Release and Limitations of Liability

Except where prohibited, by participating in the Contest, each entrant agrees to release and hold harmless Bloomberg Law, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., SCOTUSblog, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, providers, and their respective agents and agencies, officers, directors, and employees (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest, use or misuse of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) errors in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; (e) late, lost, or undeliverable mail or email; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest or receipt, use or misuse of any prize. Team Members further agree that in any cause of action, the Released Parties’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest and in no event shall the Released Parties be liable for attorney’s fees. Team Members waive the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages (other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses) and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.

  1. Disputes

Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Arlington County, of Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsors in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  1. Winner’s List

For a list of winners, please visit www.scotuscompetition.com after the Contest ends, or email Andrew Hamm (ahamm@scotusblog.com).