"Confidence intervals would be less confusing if they were called 'intervals generated by a procedure that works 95% of the time.'"
     -- John Myles White

 

 

 

Welcome to Statistics for Lawyers

The objective of this site is to explain and discuss aspects of statistics that are significant to the legal profession. While the immediate inspiration for this site has been the emergence of issues involving statistical sampling in the context of electronic discovery, the plan over time is to address other situations in which the use of statistics can affect legal outcomes, such as in cases alleging discrimination.

Please realize that this is not "Statistics for Dummies", and it is certainly not "Statistics for All Lawyers". The depth of the statistical material can vary, but much of it assumes a willingness to learn or relearn introductory college material. The point is to fill the niche between the highly simplified explanations that tend to be conveyed to non-math audiences, and the generally daunting textbooks and academic papers intended for math audiences. Thus, the math is presented rigorously, but more slowly and more completely than it would be for a math audience. This approach will also be helpful to legal support professionals and others who are seeking to convey statistical material to lawyers.

The site presents the statistical material with the legal perspective in mind. Cases and other legal references are cited. Examples are drawn from legal practice. The site attempts to serve those who agree with Judge Posner's suggestion that lawyers ought to understand statistical analyses that occur in litigation, and be able "to communicate their understanding in basic English." ATA Airlines, Inc. v. Federal Exp. Corp., 665 F. 3d 882, 889 (7th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S.Ct. 162 (2012).

This site is organized very simply. Major topics are listed on the left, and each topic page links to several articles. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Michael Levine
May 2013