Complex Sampling for Litigation

05 August 2009
By Dr. Eugene P. Ericksen

Parties in complex lawsuits often require extensive data collection to provide the necessary evidence to prove their cases. The data collection can involve personal interviews, examination of transactions, reviews of personal files, or observing actual behavior. In many cases, the populations of interest are large, and collecting information on all cases is prohibitive in terms of cost and time. In this paper, NERA Special Consultant Dr. Eugene Ericksen explains how statistical sampling can provide solutions that are relevant, cost-effective, and precise. Dr. Ericksen reviews sampling methods and provides several examples about how these methods have been used and misused in litigation. He then describes how samples used in litigation can be evaluated for Daubert motions, especially in situations where more complex methods need to be used.