September 27, 2006
Funny Moment

In addition to my job at Berry, I do some forensic economics consulting. Mostly I estimate lost earnings in personal injury or wrongful death cases. (To those who think the legal system has some abuses, I agree. However, I think abuses are mostly in class action cases. I also think people have a right to seek damages for injuries they suffer, and I mostly agree with Alex of MR about the incentives facing contingent fee lawyers.)

To the point, I had a deposition earlier this afternoon. I entered the lawyer's office at the same time as one of the defense attorneys who was deposing me. We both told the receptionist that we were there for the deposition, we gave her our names, and we sat down. The lawyer then introduced himself to me and I introduced myself to him. He had now heard my name twice, and one would have thought that he would have recognized my name from the damage report I prepared. But no.

Presumably thinking that I was the other defense attorney coming for the deposition, he proceeded to tell me that he had an economist look over my report and that I had gotten the numbers about right (though in the other economist's opinion, my estimates in one part of the report were too high and my estimates in another part of the report were too low). I was inclined to reintroduce myself, but he blurted out his comments too quickly. About that time, though, the other attorney arrived. He recognized my name as we introduced ourselves and said something like "you're the one we're deposing right?" The look on the first attorney's face was priceless.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 03:25 PM in Law

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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