Professional Judgment for Lawyers


Professional Judgment for Lawyers

9781035314805 Edward Elgar Publishing
Randall Kiser, Principal Analyst, DecisionSet®
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 03531 480 5 Extent: 474 pp
Written by the leading authority on legal decision making, Professional Judgment for Lawyers integrates empirical legal research, cognitive and social psychology, organizational behavior, legal ethics, and neuroscience to understand and improve decision making by attorneys, clients, judges, arbitrators, mediators, and juries.

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Written by the leading authority on legal decision making, Professional Judgment for Lawyers integrates empirical legal research, cognitive and social psychology, organizational behavior, legal ethics, and neuroscience to illuminate and improve decision making by attorneys, clients, judges, arbitrators, mediators, and juries.

Key Features:
• Analyzes the quality of decision making by lawyers, clients, judges, mediators, and arbitrators
• Shows how race, gender, age, roles, experience, personality, perception, memory, and emotions affect decision making by lawyers and judges
• Identifies deficiencies in professional decision making and proposes corrective steps
• Discusses the impact of professional judgment and decision making on major societal issues like access to justice, plea bargaining, mass incarceration, superannuated judges, and public confidence in the judicial system
• Describes strengths and weaknesses in personal decision making styles and provides a self-assessment tool to evaluate individual styles
• Integrates law, neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics, analytics, and organizational behavior in a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary examination of legal judgment and decision making

This book has the unique capacity to replace idealized, theoretical concepts of legal decision making with empirical analyses and practical applications for lawyers, judges, law students, and other knowledgeable readers intrigued by the law, justice, and decision making.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book is a must for arbitrators, mediators, and advocates and educators in ADR where risk assessment (a kind of forecasting) is a key element of the project. Kiser not only explains the underlying gaps in legal training and self-development and the pernicious influences of a variety of cognitive biases that taint lawyer and judicial decisions but also gives specific guidance for self-assessment and improvement. … Kiser’s book is a tremendous contribution to us all.’
– Laura Kaster, New York State Dispute Resolution Lawyer

‘Buy it. Read it. Make better judgments and decisions. … Professional Judgment for Lawyers can help you understand what is going on, become more self-aware, understand your cognitive limitations, and know how to get help when you need it. … Like all of Kiser''s books, Professional Judgment for Lawyers is well written, accessible, and a pleasure to read. … Law schools should offer courses on this subject with this book as the core text. Law firms should conduct in-house seminars and workshops with this book as the guide. Bar associations should offer CLE programs based on Professional Judgment for Lawyers."
– Michael Palmer, Fellow, American Bar Foundation

‘Kiser''s latest book is another amazing compendium of data and findings that illustrate so many useful lessons for all lawyers, as well as providing insights into many situations where things unnecessarily go awry. He does a masterful job of explaining the missing links in conventional law school training along with providing tools we can all use to fill in those gaps. Every law student and lawyer will be a better lawyer for reading and incorporating this valuable material, especially his treatment of best practices in individual as well as group decision-making.’
– Mark LeHocky, 2024 and 2022 Mediator of the Year for the San Francisco Bay Area, and Lecturer, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, US

‘In his new book, Randall Kiser consolidates his position as the pre-eminent analyst of what the best lawyers do to succeed. … Many lawyers and judges are now studying the fields of cognitive biases, decision-making processes and quantitative risk analysis. This book touches those bases and more. Mr. Kiser refers to the works of many “big names” in these fields, such as Daniel Kahneman, Richard Susskind, Philip Tetlock, Cass Sunstein, Nassim Nicholas Taleb and many others. Mr. Kiser is a big name himself, of course, having written a number of previous books about the practice of law. This book provides valuable insights into a whole range of interrelated cognitive science topics that bear on the work that lawyers do every day.’
– Stephen Cavanagh, litigation partner, Ottawa, Canada

‘Randall Kiser just published another great book relevant to our [conflict resolution] community, Professional Judgment for Lawyers. ... It should be no surprise that I think that Randy’s latest book is a very valuable contribution to the literature for practitioners and academics.’
– John Lande, Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Law, US

‘This new book, like Randy Kiser’s others, truly is a must-read. It showcases his unusual and enviable talent for pulling together empirical work from very diverse fields. So insightful for practice and law teaching alike. Highly recommend.’
– Donna Shestowsky, Director of Lawyering Skills Education and Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law, U.C. Davis School of Law, US

‘Randy Kiser’s Professional Judgment for Lawyers is a tour-de-force book every lawyer, law student, judge, arbitrator, mediator, and public policy maker should read and study. It draws on empirical research and theoretical models about human decision-making and judgment. The chapter capsules which end chapters offer wonderful syntheses of the breadth of empirical studies and theoretical frameworks about lawyering, decision-making by actors in legal systems, and policies to improve the quality of legal rules and institutions. This masterpiece is a gift for those who are in the legal profession to help them improve their professional and personal decision making and judgment.’
– Peter H. Huang, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Law School, US

‘This is a fascinating and important book. Its overarching aim is vital: to improve decision making in all corners of the world of law. A wonderful antidote to the superficial blogs that threaten to obscure our understanding of lawyers and lawyering, Kiser has gifted us a fine volume that is clearly the result of extensive empirical research and deep reflection.''
– Richard Susskind OBE, President of the Society for Computers and Law

‘It’s been nearly 15 years since Randall Kiser jumpstarted the field of lawyer decision making with his seminal study in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Now, several books later, we have Professional Judgment for Lawyers, which weaves together the threads of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, emotion, and decision making with the context of lawyers, clients, judges, mediators, arbitrators, and jurors. This book can be safely viewed as Kiser’s magnum opus, as the depth and breadth of learning (combined with its accessibility) is truly staggering. This is a book that belongs in every lawyer’s library.’
– William Henderson, Indiana University, US
Contents: 1 Principles and Challenges 2 Neuroscience and Cognition 3 Emotions. 4 Legal Analysis and Reasoning 5 Attorneys and Clients 6 Judges, Arbitrators, and Mediators 7 Jurors and Juries 8 Insight, Hindsight, and Foresight 9 Expertise, Motivation, and Wisdom 10 Decision-making Styles 11 Individual Decision-making Expertise 12 Group Decision-making Expertise 13 Ten Decision-making Tenets Index
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