Challenging Statistical Evidence

Legal Compliance Resource
January 7, 2013 — 1,125 views  

Statistical and legal professions are both associated with collecting data and determining its collective meaning. Statisticians work closely with lawyers in order to solve complicated cases. Although stats are vital, lawyers must not be entirely dependent on help from professionals as it could have a negative impact. Lawyers understand words better than figures and diagrams, so there is always a communication gap when the two professions come together for the same cause. Following are the reasons why attorneys are required to study about statistics for a fantastic career in law.

Access to All Information

Information is expensive in terms of money and time. Lawyers must not only study statistics, but also understand to strike a balance between its cost and the practicality of the data. Attorneys with education in statistics can gather all the required information by themselves, without the need for external help. This will ensure that the gathered data remains safely with the legal representative.

Stats Maximize Lawyer Data

Since information is expensive, statisticians usually “sample” the entire data and come up with sample stats. These stats imply a difference between the full information and the sample stats. Statisticians study the extent of the difference and accordingly, report it to the lawyer. However, if a lawyer is educated in statistics and wishes to gather the whole information by himself/herself, he/she will be exposed to all the data dealing with the case. This will enhance their information and eventually provide for easier case-solving.

Proving a Point

Attorneys with knowledge of statistical application are considered more capable than others for the simple reason that they will be able to handle the case singlehandedly. They charge more than the ordinary lawyers, but work out cheaper than hiring a statistician as well. Lawyers who work closely with stats can clearly explain them in the court of law if and when necessary, thereby proving a point in their own unique way.

Defending and Attacking with Statistics

Lawyers have the requisite skills to present their points of view and win cases. However, you must know that stats, although not determinative, is probative. Lawyers who have a fair understanding of stats can easily anticipate whether or not their opponents share the same level of knowledge. Hence, such lawyers have a good chance of leaving the opposing party dumbfounded in a courtroom.

Quality cross tests are used to determine the work of a statistician. As a lawyer, if you have compiled all the statistical data by yourself, you will have to prepare yourself to face several questions from the opposition as well as the juror. Any assumptions you may make will be attacked, and it is essential to have a detailed explanation for all the stats you have gathered. Likewise, your education in statistics will be of great help in in-depth questioning of opposition if they bring up statistical data that does not satisfy you. Developing your statistical skills in law can certainly help you make tremendous progress in the field, for lawyers may be many, but those with specialized statistical knowledge are few and far between!    

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