Beyond Right and Wrong: The Power of Effective Decision by Randall Kiser

By Randall Kiser

Let us pastime to determine issues as they're, after which enquire even if we should whinge. even if to work out lifestyles because it is, will supply us a lot comfort, i do know now not; however the comfort that is drawn from fact if any there be, is good and sturdy: that that could be derived from errour, has to be, like its unique, mistaken and fugitive. Samuel Johnson, Letter to Bennet Langton (1758) legal professionals and consumers make hundreds and hundreds of choices in each litigation case. From at the start determining which legal professional to continue to determining which witnesses to name at trial, from identifying even if to ?le a grievance to determining no matter if to attraction a verdict, legal professionals and consumers make a number of, serious judgements approximately techniques, expenses, arguments, valuations, facts and negotiations. as soon as made, those de- sions are scrutinized by way of an opponent cause on exploiting the implications of any mistake. during this extreme and hostile enviornment, decision-making mistakes usually are obvious, irreversible and dispositive, wielding the facility to bankrupt consumers and dissolve legislation ?rms. even supposing legal professionals and consumers may perhaps regard sound choice making as incidental to powerful lawyering, sound determination making truly is the essence of potent lawyering. An attorney’s wisdom, intelligence and event are inert re- urces until eventually the lawyer comes to a decision the right way to set up these abilities to serve the client’s pursuits. these judgements, in flip, mostly be sure a case’s direction and outcome.

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Cambridge: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. ”43 When she specifically analyzed the predictions of lawyers retained on a contingency basis, she observed that their predictions of success were especially biased by over-optimism. Although the contingency fee lawyers exhibited the same level of confidence about case outcomes as other lawyers, the contingency fee attorneys in her study won only 42% of their cases compared with an overall 56% win rate. 8 Damages Award Predictions When researchers focus on projected damages awards instead of win/lose predictions, they discover that jurors’ opinions about damages are a close match with judges’ opinions and, in some instances, jurors’ collective judgment is less variable than the opinions of individual judges and attorneys.

This chapter’s reliance on 11,306 actual case decisions distinguishes it from most other studies in nature and scope. Although scholars have produced hundreds of excellent research articles regarding negotiation theory and simulated settlement negotiations and trials, relatively few studies examine the characteristics and decisions of litigants and their attorneys in actual settlement negotiations, and none, to date, analyze as many decision-making variables and how those variables relate to case outcomes.

In both experiments, the jurors’ average estimated award was less variable than the individual judges’ estimated awards. ”44 About four years after the publication of Vidmar’s research regarding damages awards, Roselle Wissler and her colleagues completed a large-scale study designed to determine the degree of variability among judges, jurors and lawyers in assessing liability and awarding damages. In Wissler’s study, 1,060 judges, jurors and lawyers in two different states were presented with 62 case summaries based on actual personal injury cases.

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