No mathematician

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I’m no mathematician. I am sure I can remember saying “You’ve got a reasonably good chance of winning this case”. I’m not sure what I meant. I’ve no idea what the client thought I meant. But at least I’m not alone. Probabilistic language is used all the time. And I guess that kind of language makes sense in a litigation context where only really exceptional cases step outside the 35 to 65% chances of success range.

That makes me wonder how much effort is justified in a process resulting in such balanced odds. And I have no idea how to reconcile this with the idea that CaseCrunch is now predicting the outcome of PPI mis-selling claims at an accuracy rate of 86% compared to the lawyer’s rate of 62.3%.

Some figures I feel I can make some sense of are that there are now 12,000 mediations each year in the UK compared to just short of 2,000 in 2003. The success rate of those mediations either at the mediation or shortly afterwards is 89%. See The Eighth Mediation Audit – 
A survey of commercial mediator attitudes and experience in the United Kingdom.