Comparisons, Conjecture, and Confusion Over Data Used by Testifying Experts

By Cory Bilton

Sheet of Numbers

This has been an exciting year for data both big and small.  We’ve seen frequent news stories on data released by the government, secretly collected by the government, and stolen from private businesses.  On our blog this year, we’ve written about healthcare claims data from Medicare, highlighted reports of bicycle collision data in DC and data about judges calendars in Virginia, and discussed some of the ways in which collected data is changing litigation.  I think we might soon need a data set to support all statements we make that are based on experience, probability, or the “average” circumstances.

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Bicycling After Dark

By Cory Bilton

Dim Bike Path 1

If you are like me and still trying to commute to and from work on your bicycle this time of year, it’s almost impossible to avoid riding in the dark.  The official sunset time in DC today is 4:46 pm.  So you’d have to leave work pretty early to ride home with sunlight.  Riding a bicycle in the DC area after dark presents a number of different challenges.  Here are some tips to remember for the hale and hearty cyclists in the area:

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Too Many Judges in Virginia? Report says, “Too few.”

By Cory Bilton

virginia-county-map

In 2011, Virginia Delegate Bill Janis wrote, “In too many courthouses we have, as my old chief would say, ‘too much glass for the job.’”  He was referring to having too many judges in Virginia.  That year, Janis introduced HB 1990, which intended to reduce the number of judges in Virginia from 403 to 384.  An identical bill was proposed in the Senate, SB 1240.  While the House version passed 52 to 46, the Senate version ended with a decision to have the Virginia Supreme Court study the issue before the Senate would decide.

That study, titled the Virginia Judicial Workload Assessment Report (“Workload Report”), was released on November 15.  It concludes that there are too few judges in Virginia, not too many.  The study was performed by the nonprofit National Center for State Courts (NCSC).  Between May 2012 and October 2013, the NCSC studied, surveyed, and gathered data from various courts within Virginia.  The study’s conclusions paint a picture of a judicial system that is short-staffed and struggling to keep up.

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