Analytics

DecisionSet® is a national leader in legal analytics, developing metrics to evaluate attorney and mediator performance and building models to predict case outcomes. Applying peer-reviewed empirical research methods to extensive datasets, DecisionSet® has designed predictive models to augment intuitive decision making and enhance clinical judgments.

In analyzing legal decision making, case outcomes and expert attorney performance, DecisionSet® uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods. DecisionSet® has built relationships with outstanding statisticians, economists, analysts and law professors to advance our understanding of decision making under risk and uncertainty. For research projects on adverse civil trial outcomes in state courts and securities fraud class actions in federal courts, for instance, DecisionSet® collaborated with Martin Asher of The Wharton School and Blakeley McShane of The Kellogg School of Management. The insights of quantitative scholars are complemented by intensive study of attorneys with advanced decision-making skills and ongoing interactions with judges, mediators, trainers, managing partners and law firm management consultants. Applying a broad range of research, data and human insights to evaluate legal positions, forecast outcomes and assess attorneys’ problem-solving capabilities, DecisionSet® has distinguished itself as a leader in legal decision making.

DecisionSet®’s 2008 statistical study of attorney-litigant decision making errors, “Let’s Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Study of Decision Making in Unsuccessful Settlement Negotiations,” was published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (JELS). Among 981 peer-reviewed law journals, JELS is ranked #1 in "Currency Factor" and #7 in "Impact Factor.” The New York Times described the DecisionSet® study as “the biggest of its kind to date” and noted that it raised “provocative questions about how lawyers and clients make decisions.” Attorneys and mediators have praised the study in numerous articles. Illustrative comments are:

"has established a new dimension of risks for both plaintiffs and defendants in rejecting opportunities to settle. … is worth careful reading.”

“The study provided several key insights concerning risk-analysis during settlement negotiations.”

"Because this statistical study is being referenced widely by mediators, it is important to understand the significance of the report.”

"The statistics are telling. … makes a good read if you ever want to have a rational discussion with parties about the decision to settle or push forward to trial.”

Within the last five years, Randall Kiser, the principal analyst at DecisionSet®, has produced more than 1,300 manuscript pages for journals and books on legal decision making. Reviews of these books compliment their quantitative emphasis:

“Through laborious empirical research, Mr. Kiser has come up with a number of insightful observations about the training of lawyers and the practice of law. ... Mr. Kiser has all of the statistical data and a command of the math, but has presented the topic in a very readable and entertaining style.”

“As Randall Kiser points out, despite hundreds of thousands of lawsuits and numerous lawyers and law professors, we have a dearth of research on litigation decisions and outcomes. He and his colleagues (Martin Asher and Blakely McShane) helped fill part of that void with their important article, "Let's Not Make a Deal," published in September 2008. This book now constitutes a great leap forward. In a sense, Beyond Right and Wrong is part of the larger effort in the business community to base decisions on real evidence rather than conventional but frequently wrong wisdom.”

“It is an empirically based work, but contains a great deal of practical advice for negotiating difficult and complex settlements. It gives a great deal of insight into the risks of trial. … It provides insight into the empirical data and reminds us of the mutual interests and obstacles scattered along the path to settlement.”

“Errors in case evaluation can be very expensive. Kiser has previously quantified the frequency and cost of such errors in acclaimed empirical research. Here, we get a peek behind those statistics to see how talented trial lawyers avoid errors and decide whether and when a case should be settled or tried to verdict.”