Saturday, June 20, 2009

Regarding Goodman's Post on 4e's Health

I don't doubt his industry expertise, nor his business acumen. But he seemed to state his credentials and then his conclusions, with nothing objective to back it up in between.

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6207&p=25324


It reminded me of all the court cases I've seen. I worked for a few years as a Judge's clerk, sitting next to him in Court, and watched about 100 or so cases played out in court, both jury and non-jury. Plus, I've been to court to argue cases for my clients.

Anyhow, to use a personal injury case as an example, if the potential for winning/losing a lot of $$ is great enough, each side will hire an "expert" to come to court to testify. Usually a doctor. Each doctor will examine the accident victim, and based on that examination, and the examination of the medical records both past and current, render a diagnosis as to the extent of the injuries, what the cause of the injuries was, and the future prognosis of the accident victim.

Each side's doctor, both eminently qualified with credentials out the wazoo, renders completely different and contradictory opinions. They can point to the same charts and x-rays and say totally different things.

That same dynamic of hiring experts to toot the horn you want tooted exactly the way you want it tooted is played out in every type of case I've seen, from personal injury, to land use, to construction defect, to divorce, to business litigation. Each side's expert look at exactly the same set of objective facts and says completely different things which supports the viewpoint of whichever side they are testifying for.

Other than beating up the personal credentials of the other side, or hammering them on their interpretation of the facts, one of the most effctive ways to discredit the other side is to point out all the various ways they have a financial interest in saying what they are saying. Asking a doctor, for example, how much they testify in cases as opposed to practicing medicine, how much they charged for the diagnosis, how often they do plaintiff's work as opposed to defendant's work, how many times they have testified for that particular lawyer's firm, how much they got paid to testify, the likelihood of a future financial interest in the outcome---such as the patient going to them to be treated if they are awaded money for future medical expenses, etc.

Just as an aside, I'd pay a few bucks to read a pdf of the business history of the industry he talked about in the post...I'm particularly interested where he got the objective concrete numbers for sales figures going back 30 years. As far as I can tell, that's not publicly available information.