Las Vegas (Fall 2001) Appeals Summary

This note was posted to the Bridge Laws Mailing List in August of 2002.

As in my Toronto summary my goal is to discover whether committees are improving rulings overall. This time I’ve summarized the cases from the Las Vegas NABC.

23 cases were decided by committee, 19 by panels. I examined each case in an effort to determine whether the committee or panel made the same ruling as the director, improved upon the table ruling, worsened it, or whether I found the case too close to call. Here are my results -- as always, comments are welcome.

    Committees                          Panels

    Same    Improved Worsened  TCTC     Same     Improved Worsened TCTC
    1        7        17       24       2        15       22       13
    3        11                38       4        23
    8        9                 29       5        27
    16       12                         6        28
    18       20                         10       32
    19       21                         14       36
    31       30                         25       42
    33       40                         26  
    34       41                         35
    37                                  39                     
    10       9       1         3        10       7        1        1

Committees did about as well as panels, and both did better than the table directors. It’s only to be expected that committees and panels do a better job than the table director. They have more time to determine the facts and to consider their ruling. It’s also important to remember that we see a biased sample of director rulings -- hundreds or thousands of rulings are never appealed.

It’s also worth noting that some casebook panelists believe that the cases handled by panels tend to be easier. I agree, as witness the 4-1 ratio of cases I judged too close to call.

I have classified the infamous Reisinger decision (case 41) as one the committee improved. While I don’t know that the committee made the right decision (I think it’s too close to call) the floor director clearly made an incorrect decision in my view by allowing the score for the offenders to stand. The director ought to have applied Law 72b1.

Return to Adam Wildavsky’s Casebook Summaries page