Don’t use bad science when it comes to analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your client’s case and your ability to be successful at trial. You may have done well with prior trials with similar issues or claims and want a better settlement for your client, but each case is unique.
You need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities to be a successful litigator, and like the US after WWI preparing for WWII, you may feel that if you’ve done it before, you can do it again. But don’t go overboard.
Check out this guide to bad science from the blog Compound Chem. It will help you look critically at the arguments and claims made by your client and the opposing party (as well as news stories you’ll see in the media). If you look at the case with a neutral eye, maybe you’ll reconsider swinging for the fences when negotiating a resolution.
If you’ve convinced yourself you can push hard for a favorable settlement because you’ve been successful in the past with similar cases, you should step back and think again. Based on this guide, you may be making the following bad science mistakes:
#6 Sample Size Too Small: “In (experiments), the smaller a sample size, the lower the confidence in the results from that sample. Conclusions drawn should be considered with this in mind.”
#7 Unrepresentative Samples: “In human (medical) trials, researchers will try to select individuals that are representative of a larger population. If the sample is different from the population as a whole, then the conclusions may well also be different.”
You may have had too few cases to make a solid tactical decision. Just because you’ve had one or two motorcycle accident cases that went well doesn’t mean you are on the road to victory this time too.
In your past cases, you may have gotten the benefit of very favorable facts, sympathetic clients, solid expert testimony and an opposing counsel having a bad day. These factors may not be representative of these cases in general and may not match your current case.
You need to learn from past cases, where things went well and where things fell short, to better protect your current client’s rights and represent his or her interests. That learning should be scientific, not emotional, to do the best job for your client.