Thursday, August 20, 2015
James Stark (Connecticut) makes the following request:
I will be working this year with a PhD psychologist from the University of Maryland on an empirical research study designed to learn more about the role of individual differences in lawyers' susceptibility to cognitive and motivational bias in a representative lawyering role. The exercise at the core of the study asks students to assume the role of counsel for plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury case and assess its value, based on condensed pleadings and discovery materials from a (real) Texas motorcycle accident case.
Asking your students to do the exercise is a great way to teach them-- in a fun, hands-on way-- about the risks of bias they will face as representative lawyers, and how these biases may affect them in a partisan lawyering role. It is also an opportunity to expand knowledge in the field of behavioral economics as it applies to law students and lawyers. It's a 45 minute, on-line homework exercise that need not take significant class time to debrief, and should fit very well in most any Torts course, once students have completed their study of negligence.
If you find this short description at all intriguing, a more complete description is attached. We need 400 research subjects, so I hope you will consider joining us. Happy to answer any and all questions, by phone or offline.
Apologies for cross-listings and wishing everyone a happy and productive fall semester.
James H. Stark
Professor of Law and Director, Mediation Clinic
University of Connecticut Law School
65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 570-5278 (telephone)
(860) 570-5242 (telefax)
Please send all emails to my new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org