Thursday, January 30, 2014

Counsel, Your Crystal Ball is Busted

BY GARRY J. WISE, LAWYER, WISE LAW OFFICE

Today at SlawTips, I look at research that tells us lawyers' predictive abilities could use a bit of work:
The take-away from this research is that legal professionals appear to tend toward optimistic, but unrealistic bias in favour of our own clients’ positions. We should thus exercise caution in assessing – and relying on – our own predictive abilities.

Our early impressions about the merits of our clients’ claims may be coloured by the professional blind spots identified in this research. We may also be swayed by our natural empathy for our clients or by incomplete information on opposing parties’ positions that may be available at early stages.

In short, we should manage our own expectations about results – and the client expectations they generate – with extreme care.
Which brings us to today’s Practice Tip:
Before predicting outcomes, take a closer look. Reality checking ought to start with us, not with pre-trial judges, months or years after the fact.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

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