Attorneys and clients often focus on whether a case is "winnable." DecisionSet® believes that the most important judgment call is not whether a party will win or lose at trial but rather whether the trial result will be better than an alternative proposed in settlement negotiations. All too often, a party "wins" at trial but actually loses because the winner's award is financially worse than a previously declined settlement proposal. "Beating" an adversary at trial sometimes inflicts more damage on the victor than the ostensible loser.
To help parties avoid adverse litigation outcomes, DecisionSet® has identified case factors correlated with suboptimal settlement negotiations and adverse trial outcomes. Analyzing numerous classes of variables, DecisionSet® has identified predictor variables for win rates, settlement amounts, awards and attorney-litigant decision-making errors. When litigants integrate data and models with decision sciences research showing how psychological biases and heuristics lead to suboptimal results, they acquire new and valuable tools to assess their alternatives.
The principal analyst at DecisionSet®, Randall Kiser, has been a member of the California State Bar for 33 years. He brings a unique blend of practical litigation experience and decision-making research to litigation consulting. In addition to his experience and expertise, he offers insights gained from structured interviews with outstanding trial attorneys, as described in his 2011 book, How Leading Lawyers Think: Expert Insights Into Judgment and Advocacy