The Middle Way

Blackstone Trial Analytics hopes to reconcile two reasonable world views: Trial output is highly heterogeneous and trial output is intelligible. This conflict is ably summarized by two partisans in particular on one of my favorite Yahoo! Answers entries:

FrogMiller:

Thanks for your question. That is a more difficult question than you might expect. A win / loss record really refers to the lawyer’s success rate. However, what is defined as success in any given case will be defined by its particular circumstances. In a criminal defense case, for example, a successful outcome is not always defined as an acquittal. In some cases an acquittal is near impossible. However, that does not mean that the case cannot be dealt with with a “successful” result.

For example, a client with a long criminal record facing another charge where the case against him is overwhelming may define success as any outcome that does not result in jail time — a result that may be very difficult to achieve. Or what about the lawyer who tries a case, receives a terrible legal ruling, resulting in a conviction, and then has that loss later overturned on appeal?

Or what if the jury returns a verdict of not guilty for two counts, but guilty on another count, or even on a lesser included offense?

Although it may not be possible to get an acquittal in every case, the lawyer may be “successful” in helping the client attain his goal. Is such an outcome a win or a loss? In the examples above, both the lawyer and client may consider it a win. What if the lawyer considered it a loss even though he helped his client attain the desired outcome?

Blackmanisgod:

You guys are a bunch of f[uc]king A[ss]holes.. The question was simple but you got your emotion all tied up in knots. I’ve got [news for] you B[i]tches. “You are what you record says you are” I don’t care what you think. I want a winner!!! and if that attorney has never lost I want them on my team. Simple concept.

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