Crowdsourcing & Data Analytics: The New Settlement Tools

Paper by Chao, Bernard and Robertson, Christopher T. and Yokum, David V: “In the jury trial rights, the State and Federal Constitutions recognize the fundamental value of having laypersons resolve civil and criminal disputes. Nonetheless, settlement allows parties to avoid the risks and cost of trials, and settlements help clear court dockets efficiently. But achieving settlement can be a challenge. Parties naturally view their cases from different perspectives, and these perspectives often cause both sides to be overly optimistic. This article describes a novel method of providing parties more accurate information about the value of their case by incorporating layperson perspectives. Specifically, we suggest that working with mediators or settlement judges, the parties should create mini-trials and then recruit hundreds of online mock jurors to render decisions. By applying modern statistical techniques to these results, the mediators can show the parties the likelihood of possible outcomes and also collect qualitative information about strengths and weaknesses for each side. These data will counter the parties’ unrealistic views and thereby facilitate settlement….(More)”.