Complex Evidence in Litigation

Complex litigation tends to get framed as a problem for the jury system, but it is more properly viewed as a problem for any fact finder—juror, judge, arbitrator, expert panel—and for the litigants and their attorneys. Still, the jury framing is useful because it brings into focus some of the resources a fact finder needs to tackle the problem: attention, memory storage and retrieval, education and training, and life experience. In these respects, groups are advantaged over individuals, and experts are advantaged over nonexperts. Since judges have greater average expertise but juries act as groups, it is difficult to identify a net advantage either way. And, of course, accuracy is only one criterion by which we evaluate legal judgment; a full assessment requires considerations of ...

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