David Oliver, a partner in the Vorys Houston office, authored an article for Texas Lawyer titled “Big Data, Statistical Inference and the Future of Trial Lawyers.”   In the article, Oliver indicates that he does not believe big data and advances in statistical inference threaten to replace trial lawyers. 

In the article, he states:

“Rhetoric, the essence of the trial lawyer's craft, always will define the starting point of any inquiry into cause and effect.”

The lawyer of the future would be "the man of statistics," predicted Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in his classic law review essay, "The Path of the Law." More than a century later, after many missteps, false starts, appalling injustices and fierce controversies, the future undeniably has arrived.

Data-mining is going on everywhere, and the tools to do it grow cheaper and more powerful each year. Among other things being unearthed are: new claims, e.g., finding links between a drug and an illness; new avenues of defense, e.g., risk quantification; new ways to show malfeasance, e.g., turning a failed clinical trial into a successful one by exploding statistics; and new ways to uncover the prevarications of expert witnesses, e.g. hacking data until a statistically significant association emerges.”

To read the entire article, visit the Texas Lawyer website.