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All comments by Robert Shore
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I'm now in the habit, after every session I play using BridgeMates, of using the Game Summary function to walk through my game and confirm that my scores all were entered correctly. This usually lets me catch any errors before my opponents have left the playing area.
May 1, 2017
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If this occurred at a regional, why isn't it being handled by the District's Disciplinary Committee?
Aug. 7, 2016
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That was actually part of my thinking. I couldn't imagine partner having a hand that would justify a penalty double in light of my hand (which I think was two aces heavier than it needed to be for a balancing double). I could, however, envision reasonable responsive doubles.
May 28, 2016
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Partner's hand turned out to be K103, K62, Q98654, J. He intended the double as penalty, planning to lead the club J. Deep Finesse says declarer can hold the hand to down 1, but I think most human beings would go down 2. We'll never know, though, because I was sure partner's double was responsive so I bid 5C, which was not successful.
May 27, 2016
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Given the auction, what hand can partner have to justify a penalty double? How strong do you need to be to make a balancing double?
May 27, 2016
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Thanks for noting this. I should have taken the time to double-check spelling.
Nov. 5, 2015
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Jim,

Because an ethical (rather than a conduct) violation was found, the appeal is automatic.
Aug. 25, 2015
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There appears to be a relatively quick way to fix the problem. “When Management receives a hearing report in which the committee has imposed a discipline that contravenes or is inconsistent with the CDR, ACBL Management shall notify the committee chairperson in writing. The committee shall then reconvene on the matter of imposition of discipline.” CDR 5.2.13. That appears to be the case here, so it is incumbent upon ACBL Management to act without awaiting an appeal.

I'll also note that ACBL appears to have violated its own policy by publishing its findings when it did. “Current ACBL policy is to publish an individual’s name and ACBL player number, and a brief description of their offense after any appeals are exhausted or the time period for an appeal has expired.” CDR 9.6.3. This should have remained private until the appellate process was completed.
Aug. 24, 2015
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It's not what “I'm claiming” 4.1.8 allows. The text is quite clear. And masterpoint penalties up to the points earned in the 12 months prior to the offense can be assessed without a suspension in excess of a year.
Aug. 24, 2015
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Michael, Appendix B is there for its stated purpose – to act as “guidelines.” It's useful to have some sense of the appropriate level and length of discipline for various offenses, so that the same offense gets approximately the same penalty across the ACBL.

Section 4.1 explicitly applies to ALL ACBL disciplinary bodies.
Aug. 24, 2015
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Bob, I am both a lawyer (a civil litigator) and the chair of my District's Disciplinary Committee. John – if your interpretation of CDR 4.1 were correct, it would say that the only permissible disciplines are reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion, and removal of masterpoints (or anything else that's listed there that I've forgotten). It doesn't say that. It says that Section 4 is the only permissible source of discipline (other than discipline assessed by a tournament committee, which isn't at issue here). That doesn't mean just the types of discipline. It means that those disciplines are available under the conditions set forth in the Section.

It's possible to argue that no masterpoint penalty is available without at least some period of suspension. But I really don't think it's possible to argue that this masterpoint penalty was permissible in the absence of a suspension for at least one year.
Aug. 24, 2015
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The quoted section places limits on the committee's authority. If the committee were allowed to ignore those limits, then the quoted section would be a dead letter. For that reason, I can't imagine any court interpreting the provisions in the way you suggest.

Take a look at CDR 4.1: “Except for disciplines which may be imposed at tournaments under CDR 5, the subsections in this CDR 4 set forth the only discipline which may be imposed by ACBL disciplinary bodies.” That's the language that makes Appendix B subject to 4.1.8(b).

No matter what the merits of the underlying case, ACBL screwed up. It appears to me that under CDR 2.2.4, the Board of Directors has what it is in effect supervisory authority. They'd better use it.
Aug. 24, 2015
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The CDR can be found at http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/CDR-20151.pdf

CDR 4.1.8(b)(1) says, “When a suspension of less than one year has been imposed, the committee may remove the masterpoints, titles and/or awards won within the twelve (12) calendar months preceding the date of the offense(s).” Here, no suspension at all was imposed. This, therefore, is clearly the outer limit of the committee's authority.

The guideline section you cite also “requires” a minimum suspension of two years. When that suspension (or even a lesser suspension of at least a year) is imposed, the committee has authority to remove as many masterpoints as it deems appropriate, but MUST remove at least all masterpoints won in the 12 months preceding the offense.
Aug. 24, 2015
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Mike, I would find it helpful if you would publish the full text of the letter you presumably received originally giving you notice of the hearing.
Aug. 24, 2015
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CDR 4.1.8(b). Appendix B contains “Guidelines.” I don't read the guidelines as overriding the clear limitations on a committee's authority set forth in the main text.
Aug. 24, 2015
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As I read the CDR, the penalty was not authorized. A penalty of 25% of lifetime masterpoint holdings is only authorized when the underlying offense triggers a suspension of at least a year. Here, there was no suspension at all. Something has obviously gone badly off the rails.
Aug. 24, 2015
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I've been an IP litigator for 21 years now. If contract discussions really did break down over work-made-for-hire status, then somebody wasn't thinking this through. Take a look at the definition of works eligible to be a “work-made-for-hire” in 17 U.S.C. § 101. Conspicuously missing from that list is software. That's a dispute that simply shouldn't have happened and it causes me concern about the legal advice being received on both ends. That, in turn, causes me concern that a deal that could have been salvaged, wasn't.
Dec. 18, 2014
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Kit,

I was Kevin's partner. We've been playing that particular agreement (second card after AKQ shows upside-down present count) for years. It was quite solid. The K showed an original 7-card suit, and I knew it.
Oct. 24, 2014
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