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Law vs Science

#1 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:05 AM

There have been on certain threads in the past, argument put forward on both sides of this question. This article articulates the 'science' point of view.


Scientists and lawyers do not get along. There’s a reason for that. Simply put, scientists and lawyers do not think alike.

I was smacked in the face by this reality when I was called into jury duty in 2011. The case involved a car accident, and the standard in Washington State for the jury to decide in favor of the plaintiff is a “preponderance of evidence,” which is a fancy way of saying, “51 percent.” Essentially, a coin toss decides if the plaintiff wins a bunch of money.

The judge asked if any of the potential jurors objected to that. I did. “I’m a scientist,” I explained, “and I need more evidence than that.” So, I was shown the door.*

That experience taught me that scientists and lawyers live in two completely different worlds. Scientists want 95% confidence and margins of error; lawyers want 51% confidence. Scientists want all evidence to be considered; lawyers do everything in their power to dismiss evidence they don’t like. Scientists rely on reports written by experts; lawyers often consider them inadmissible hearsay. At their best, scientists pursue truth; at their best, lawyers pursue the truth, so long as it benefits the client.

These are fundamentally irreconcilable worldviews that are forever destined to be in conflict. And the lawyers are winning.

Will Lawyers Destroy Science?

Consider Mark Jacobson, the climate scientist who is suing a prestigious journal for $10 million because it hurt his feelings. There is good reason to believe that the lawsuit will be dismissed, but not before lawyers have collected a nice fee for themselves. Jacobson’s attorneys and the journal’s attorneys can both make a lot of money arguing with each other, even if the suit never actually goes to trial. Routinely, lawyers are required to solve problems that they themselves created. If something like this were to occur in any other area of life, it would be called racketeering.


Recently, RealClearScience wrote an article that covered a paper published in the journal Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine about how a particular herbal tea was linked to acute liver failure. The maker of the tea threatened to sue RealClearScience, which pulled the article because it didn’t want to deal with a lawyer.

In both examples, the scientific enterprise is collateral damage. The mere threat of a lawsuit can be used to shut down scientific debate. This is deeply troubling.

A Lawsuit-Happy Nation

Unfortunately, there are no signs of such lawsuit abuse stopping. Researchers at Harvard’s John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business published a report that showed that the number of lawsuits filed in the United States far exceeds those of similar countries:

On a per capita basis, the lawsuit rate in the U.S. is higher than Canada (by 4 times), Australia (3.8x), Japan (3.3x), France (2.4x), and the UK (1.6x).

Beware, science. A lawsuit-happy nation turns its eyes to you.


Grant
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#2 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:12 AM

Quite clearly those in the legal profession including judges have absolutely no business determining what is and what is not reality but rather invoking the authority of those who do have the right qualifications and experience to determine reality. In other words they must be subservient to science. Failure to comply with this basic principle is without doubt a perversion of the course of justice. Just because it is common for persons working with them the legal profession routinely manipulate reality for their own ends that does not mean it is right. For example all too often we see so-called case law being relied upon to the extent whereby gradualism occurs into the ridiculous and down the rabbit hole we go.

To apply the relationship between law and science within the context of the ACC legislation we see quite clearly that the legislators have found it necessary to place the power totally and completely in the hands of medical science and take away all capacity for bureaucrats to determine reality to the extent that they must defer all questions of facts to the relevant science-based expert.

A little helpful suggestion for those of us who are injured and the need of entitlements it is helpful that we don't go the ACC rout by way of persuasive rhetoric but rather go to the doctor and obtain the benefits of the scientific mind on the subject of fact so as to apply that fact to the legislation. If in the event that the doctor is uncertain you will find that people of science are of a more humble and will seek information from the superior mind and scientific authority of the specialist who in turn will rely upon the scientific measurement equipment of such devices as MRI, CT and other forms of scanning and scientific equipment so as to establish reality in the absolute sense.
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#3 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:36 AM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 12 January 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:


Quite clearly those in the legal profession including judges have absolutely no business determining what is and what is not reality but rather invoking the authority of those who do have the right qualifications and experience to determine reality. In other words they must be subservient to science. Failure to comply with this basic principle is without doubt a perversion of the course of justice. Just because it is common for persons working with them the legal profession routinely manipulate reality for their own ends that does not mean it is right. For example all too often we see so-called case law being relied upon to the extent whereby gradualism occurs into the ridiculous and down the rabbit hole we go.




The problem is that in many instances [cases], there is no 100% certainty. Rather, there are a significant number of unknowns. The law [legal system] is required to provide an outcome and hence [a level] of certainty in these situations. The solution is far from perfect, but it is the best that there is currently.

Grant
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#4 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:38 AM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 12 January 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:



A little helpful suggestion for those of us who are injured and the need of entitlements it is helpful that we don't go the ACC rout by way of persuasive rhetoric but rather go to the doctor and obtain the benefits of the scientific mind on the subject of fact so as to apply that fact to the legislation. If in the event that the doctor is uncertain you will find that people of science are of a more humble and will seek information from the superior mind and scientific authority of the specialist who in turn will rely upon the scientific measurement equipment of such devices as MRI, CT and other forms of scanning and scientific equipment so as to establish reality in the absolute sense.


Medical 'science' is very far [very] from 100% accuracy.

Grant
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#5 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:39 AM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 12 January 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:



To apply the relationship between law and science within the context of the ACC legislation we see quite clearly that the legislators have found it necessary to place the power totally and completely in the hands of medical science and take away all capacity for bureaucrats to determine reality to the extent that they must defer all questions of facts to the relevant science-based expert.




Well no, not really. There is that 'presumption', but it is still subject to context.

Grant
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#6 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:48 AM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 11:36 AM, said:

The problem is that in many instances [cases], there is no 100% certainty. Rather, there are a significant number of unknowns. The law [legal system] is required to provide an outcome and hence [a level] of certainty in these situations. The solution is far from perfect, but it is the best that there is currently.

Grant


Obviously whenever there is a lack of certainty there is a failure by one of three parties, the appellant, the respondent or the court. I say this because everything has its absolute point of fact and is not open to a conclusion of preference as opposed to a conclusion of fact. When it is established that the ACC have made a decision while unknowns remain in the equation then the decision cannot stand. That is the law.. Sadly when the court fails to comply with this requirement of their decisions and instead prefers to place a guess within the context of their decision they have failed in their duty. In my observations most cases the ACC court encounters would involve the court returning the decision to the ACC with an instruction to fund the appropriate expert to provide the relevant information as the ACC invariably seek information from those who are not qualified to give it or simply make their own guess with the hope that the court will likewise perpetuate the guess and maintain the status quo. Such judges should be banished from the kingdom!

We must always be mindful of the fact that the ACC court is in doubt to be something of a punishment for wayward judges or judges that lack competence with the result that the judges need a great deal of guidance with regards to the nature of the law and the criteria of the decision. Sadly both appellants and respondents legal counsel failed to direct the judges in the duty as they lacked courage for lack knowledge and/or expertise when serving their respective clients. It is for these reasons why the nature of ACC decisions suffer from gradualism which in turn progressively erodes the integrity of the ACC legislation.
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#7 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:52 AM

Quote

Obviously whenever there is a lack of certainty there is a failure by one of three parties, the appellant, the respondent or the court. I say this because everything has its absolute point of fact and is not open to a conclusion of preference as opposed to a conclusion of fact. When it is established that the ACC have made a decision while unknowns remain in the equation then the decision cannot stand. That is the law..


No, that is not the law.

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#8 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:53 AM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 15 January 2018 - 11:48 AM, said:

Sadly when the court fails to comply with this requirement of their decisions and instead prefers to place a guess within the context of their decision they have failed in their duty.


There is no 'guessing'. That would be unacceptable. The law is the law of 'legal inference'.

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#9 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:54 AM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 11:38 AM, said:

Medical 'science' is very far [very] from 100% accuracy.

Grant


Nonetheless legislation requires medical science reporting to carry the day. In other words if we have a medical professional who is a specialist in their field that reports a diagnosis and prognosis then nobody else can challenge that under ACC legislation unless they are superior medical professional. Sadly what we frequently see is ACC usurping the authority of the medical professional in favour of their own arrogance with judges equally arrogantly seeking to maintain the status quo rather than submitting themselves to the superior information of the medical professional. We must never forget that neither the ACC nor the judges are able to determine reality at a higher level no other reason than they possess some form of authority law.. We also must not forget that the judges authority does not have the capacity to change fact and if the judge were to disregard the integrity of the medical profession is nothing other than the use of authority then they are out of order and must be corrected by the appellate court.
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#10 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:55 AM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 15 January 2018 - 11:48 AM, said:

Sadly both appellants and respondents legal counsel failed to direct the judges in the duty as they lacked courage for lack knowledge and/or expertise when serving their respective clients. It is for these reasons why the nature of ACC decisions suffer from gradualism which in turn progressively erodes the integrity of the ACC legislation.


It is rather that these counsel do know the [correct] law.

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#11 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:57 AM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 11:39 AM, said:

Well no, not really. There is that 'presumption', but it is still subject to context.

Grant


When the medical profession reports that an accident event has resulted in an injury which causes the injured to have an incapacity then all subsequent parties that are required to administer the act must submit themselves to that information and have absolute no capacity to determine context.

I do note however that in order to get around this absolute that both ACC and the courts have a tendency to introduce irrelevant side issues in order to diminish the authority of the medical profession in these matters of fact. I can think of no context whereby the medical facts loose their context with regards to the ACC legislation as that is the information that forms the foundation of any and all claims.
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#12 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:58 AM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 11:52 AM, said:

No, that is not the law.

Grant


The law is that the legal profession must be subservient to the medical facts. Authority does not trump science for the purposes of determining fact.
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#13 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:00 PM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 11:55 AM, said:

It is rather that these counsel do know the [correct] law.

Grant


When a judge disregards the fact or does not relate the facts to the law than the judge has been disobedience of the law. Invariably this is because they have not received the proper guidance from the appellant or respondents legal counsel for such a disgraceful mistake to occur.. Thankfully there is the appellate court.My observations in reading many judgements after first reading the submissions of both parties is that the council either did not know the law or work too cowardly to present it. Those who pay legal counsel's to expect proper workmanship in such matters. This does not excuse the judge as the judge should on their own account study the matters in any event. With regards to the reviewer reviewer has a duty of enquiry and as such there can be no possibility of an excuse even when legal counsel stuffs up
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#14 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:00 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 15 January 2018 - 11:57 AM, said:

When the medical profession reports that an accident event has resulted in an injury which causes the injured to have an incapacity then all subsequent parties that are required to administer the act must submit themselves to that information and have absolute no capacity to determine context.

I do note however that in order to get around this absolute that both ACC and the courts have a tendency to introduce irrelevant side issues in order to diminish the authority of the medical profession in these matters of fact. I can think of no context whereby the medical facts loose their context with regards to the ACC legislation as that is the information that forms the foundation of any and all claims.


The 'example' that you have provided, is no example at all. It rests on the assumption that all of the facts are known and accepted. That is not the type of case to which I am referring.

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#15 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 15 January 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

The law is that the legal profession must be subservient to the medical facts. Authority does not trump science for the purposes of determining fact.


Again, you misunderstand.

When the 'facts' are uncertain, cloudy, disputed, historical, etc, there can be no [100%] fact. That is when the law allows legal inference.

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#16 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:04 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 15 January 2018 - 12:00 PM, said:

When a judge disregards the fact or does not relate the facts to the law than the judge has been disobedience of the law.


Agreed.

This is not however the 'issue'.

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#17 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:26 PM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 12:02 PM, said:

Again, you misunderstand.

When the 'facts' are uncertain, cloudy, disputed, historical, etc, there can be no [100%] fact. That is when the law allows legal inference.

Grant


But the legislation requires the ACC to fund those who establish facts with those who produce such reports as to the facts do so independently from the ACC.
Quite often we seethe so-called independents medical assessors being asked questions that diminish the independence of the questions that the legal counsel should be looking at so as to gain proper clarity in such matters. If we are dealing with a more probable than not situation it is not up to the court to decide such matters but rather the medical profession.

We must never ever forget that the legal profession including the judges are merely process of workers who process the information that is before them as opposed to make any attempt whatsoever to self generate information.
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#18 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:29 PM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 12:00 PM, said:

The 'example' that you have provided, is no example at all. It rests on the assumption that all of the facts are known and accepted. That is not the type of case to which I am referring.

Grant


My description was universal in its character and as such obedience to the legislation by funding independent information providers as the criteria by which the legislation must also submit itself.
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#19 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:30 PM

View PostGrant-Mac, on 15 January 2018 - 12:04 PM, said:

Agreed.

This is not however the 'issue'.

Grant


When reading decisions relating to these matters invariably we find that a reviewer or district court judge has been disobedient to the legislated criteria and as such it is invariably the issue. Legislation requires obedience to the science. Reviewers and judges are not men of science and therefore cannot Generate and/or impose their own opinion within the context of the judgement
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#20 User is offline   Grant-Mac 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:30 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on 15 January 2018 - 12:30 PM, said:

When reading decisions relating to these matters invariably we find that a reviewer or district court judge has been disobedient to the legislated criteria and as such it is invariably the issue. Legislation requires obedience to the science. Reviewers and judges are not men of science and therefore cannot Generate and/or impose their own opinion within the context of the judgement


I suppose rather than going around in circles, provide an example of where you say this has happened.

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