Statistics for Lawyers

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Designed to introduce law students, law teachers, practitioners, and judges to the basic ideas of mathematical probability and statistics as they have been applied in the law, the book consists of sections of exposition followed by real-world cases and case studies in which stastical data have played a role. Readers are asked to apply the theory to the facts, to calculate results (a pocket calculator is sufficient), and to explore legal issues raised by quantitative findings, while the author's own calculations and comments are given in the back of the book. The cases and case studies reflect a broad variety of legal subjects, including antidiscrimination, mass torts, taxation, school finance, identification evidence, preventive detention, handwriting disputes, voting, environmental protection, antitrust, and the death penalty. The first edition has been used in law, statistics, and social science courses, and in 1991 was selected by the University of Michigan Law Review as one of the important law books of the year. This second edition includes many new problems reflecting current developments in the law, including a new chapter on epidemiology.

"...introduces practitioners, judges, law students & law professors to the basic ideas of mathematical probability & statistics as they have been applied in the law."

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Editorial Reviews

Presents the science of statistics as applied to legal problems. A series of cases demonstrate a variety of statistical tools that range from simple averaging for estimating thefts from parking meters to complex logistic regression models for demonstrating discrimination in the death penalty. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

From the reviews of the second edition:

"The dangers of misusing statistics are illustrated by the case of People vs. Collins, in which the product of the probabilities of several characteristics described by eyewitnesses … was presented as convincing evidence against the defendant. This book analyses this and numerous other interesting examples to show the relevance of statistics to forensic science, medicine, commerce and the law. Each of the statistical concepts and procedures is presented with examples that include exercises based on actual data. … The book is quite readable." (Dr. Henry Roberts, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 35, 2003)

"This is the first book on statistics for lawyers that has come out in a second edition. … The most impressive change in the book can be attributed to the publisher, who has included the book in its relatively new series on Statistics for Science and Public Policy. First published as an inexpensive softcover edition, the book is now a beautiful hardcover volume … . this book continues to be a wonderful resource for the use of statistics in the courts." (Technometrics, Vol. 44 (2), 2002)

"This book is designed to introduce law students, law teachers, practitioners, and judges to the basic ideas of mathematical probability and statistics as they are applied in the law. … The cases and case studies reflect a broad variety of legal subjects, including antidiscrimination, mass torts, taxation, school finance, identification evidence … and the death penalty. … Significant new developments, reflected in this edition, include, for example, DNA evidence, epidemiologic studies in toxic substance litigation, statistical models for adjusting census counts, and vote-dilution cases." (Edward M. Psyadlo, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 983, 2002)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387971360
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/1/1990
  • Series: Texts in Statistics
  • Pages: 608

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
List of Figures
List of Tables
1 Descriptive Statistics 1
2 How to Count 43
3 Elements of Probability 57
4 Some Probability Distributions 99
5 Statistical Inference for Two Proportions 154
6 Comparing Multiple Proportions 200
7 Comparing Means 222
8 Combining Evidence Across Independent Strata 237
9 Sampling Issues 256
10 Epidemiology 282
11 Survival Analysis 317
12 Nonparametric Methods 339
13 Regression Models 350
14 More Complex Regression Models 417
App. I: Calculations and Comments on the Cases 481
App. II: Tables 555
Glossary of Symbols 583
List of Cases 585
Bibliography 589
Subject Index 599
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