Sunday, February 21, 2010

Evaluating Whether to Settle

Why would an attorney's assessment of a case change between filing and the eve of trial? Why recommend settling when the case looked pretty good? See How Attorneys Value Your Claim When Making a Recommendation to Settle or Proceed to Trial: An Explanation for the Parties, Settle It Now Negotiation Blog, Feb. 20, 2010.

The author recommends a new book, Randall Kiser, Beyond Right and Wrong: The Power of Effective Decision Making for Attorneys and Clients. According to the publisher,

This book guides attorneys and clients through legal decision making. It analyzes 11,306 attorney-client decisions in actual cases and summarizes decades of research regarding judge, jury, litigant and attorney decision making. To explain why many litigation outcomes are suboptimal, the book describes the psychological and institutional factors that impede sound decision making. The roles of attorneys and clients in legal decision making and the legal malpractice and disciplinary consequences of ineffective legal representation also are discussed. To rapidly promote better financial outcomes in civil litigation and to assist attorneys and clients in becoming expert decision makers, the book presents more than 65 ideas, methods and systems for improving personal and group decision making.
Another interesting blog post on litigation and settlement decisions: Decision Tree Analysis in Litigation: The Basics, Settlement Perspectives, Jan. 4, 2009.

Thanks: #djillpugh

Does a Judge's Race Make a Difference?

The ABA Journal reports on some research presented at the mid-year meeting: Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find, Feb. 6, 2010.

But the cited studies are just a start. One of the commenters posted a critique of their methodology. To see the critique, you can skim the comments or go to the Law Librarian blog post quoting it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cop Murders Spark Legal Overhaul in Washington -

Cop Murders Spark Legal Overhaul in Washington -, Feb. 4, 2010.

Washington state lawmakers on Wednesday passed five bills aimed at increasing safety for law-enforcement officials in the wake of the slayings of six police officers, in a big overhaul of the state's criminal justice system.
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[T]he revamp has stirred opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union, public defenders and criminal defense associations. They say the bail proposals could curtail a basic protection of the legal system against individuals accused but not convicted of crimes.

Still, Wednesday's measures are expected to pass in the Senate in the coming weeks and be signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

NWIRP Is Blog's Non Profit of the Week

Illinois lawyer Matthew Broderick, who blogs about nonprofit law and sustainable construction, names a "non profit of the week" -- and this week chose the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Nice recognition for some of our local heroes -- and an interesting blog to check out, too. Vox Viridis: The Sustainable Legal Voice.

Innocence Project Client Found Not Guilty

Ted Bradford, of Yakima, the first person in Washington to win a new trial based on DNA evidence, was found not guilty in that second trial this week.

“We’re obviously thrilled. We believed in Ted’s innocence all along,” said defense attorney Felix Luna of Seattle. Luna handled the case for Innocence Project Northwest, a legal clinic based at the University of Washington.
Jurors find Bradford innocent of rape, Yakima Herald, Feb. 11, 2010.

Congratulations to the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic and to pro bono lawyer (and Trial Ad instructor) Felix Luna.