January 13, 2011
Following Up on Matrixx v. Siracusano
A while back, I was honored to sign on to the "Brief for Professors at Law and Business Schools as Amicus Curiae In Support of Respondents, Matrixx v. Siracusano," arguing that "The Use of Statistical Significance as a Bright-line Test for Determining Materiality Is Inconsistent with the Analytical Framework Set Out By This Court in Northway and Conflicts with the Reasoning in Basic." However, I also noted here that if one followed the "pro-business" storyline for the Roberts Court, that argument would be a loser. Alternatively, I suggested the Court might adopt a presumption in favor of finding data that was not statistically significant immaterial as a sort of compromise. (I guess you could say I was covering all the bases.)
Well, the Court recently heard oral argument in the case and early reports suggest the Professors' brief's argument will be a winner after all (which continues to strike me as the correct result). Writes Jay Brown here:
While it is hard to predict the outcome of a case from oral argument, this one seems straightforward. Respondents will win and the Supreme Court will reject the "statistical significance" test, reaffirming the traditional Northway/Basic analysis.