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18 April 2006


Joe Doherty

At the risk of going Lott, I found it hard to read Rasmussen's critique of LoPucki's book without wanting to re-run the tables in our 2002 article (LoPucki & Doherty, 55 Vanderbilt LR 1933) in which we tested everyone's pet theories for why Delaware cases ended so badly. I succumbed to the urge, launched SPSS, and re-ran Table 21 the way Rasmussen would like, using only the 'traditional' cases. I still get a significant coefficient for Delaware (p = .07, 2-tailed). This confused me, as I assumed that he was verifying/replicating our work. So I used the "find" function to locate the section where Rasmussen interpreted our article, and found that he didn't mention it anywhere. This hurts my pride (I'll recover). But it also inverts the meaning of Michael Heise's statement about the value of Rasmussen's paper as a "helpful reminder" to empirical legal scholars; it's important grapple with and acknowledge the existing research before criticizing it's execution.

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