PrecisionTree Aids Commercial Law Firm in Case Outcome Estimates
 
 

Ascendion Law uses PrecisionTree to Estimate the Chances of Winning Complex Legal Cases

 
 

Chilwin Cheng, Ascendion Law’s Managing Partner, uses Palisade Corporation’s decision tree generating software, PrecisionTree, to develop precise and realistic estimations about commercial cases. “These cases lend themselves towards a decision tree,” says Cheng.

For a contract case, he would begin to map out the percentage of a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ for each decision point listed above. The percentages are derived from inputs consisting of professional judgement based off case law; Cheng’s team does a deep dive into pre-existing cases to determine how previous judges decided, and can assign a number percentage to the likelihood of a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’

“After mapping that out in PrecisionTree, we’re then able to say that the likelihood of losing is X percent and winning is Y percent,” says Cheng.

Cheng and his team can get even more detailed in their predictions, with enough data points to plot graphs that display the range of possibilities. “Many lawyers will say ‘on average this case is worth $60,000,’” Cheng says. “What they won’t tell you is it has a one-percent chance of winning a million dollars, and a one-percent chance of winning none.”

Cheng and his team also use PrecisionTree when negotiating settlements with the opposing side. “In one case, we were able to get eighty percent of what the client asked for,” says Cheng. “We literally sent the tree to the other side, and they then saw exactly where we were coming from and our rationale for our decision. We were able to have a rational conversation—with PrecisionTree, you’re not just horse trading anymore in these negotiations.

 
 
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Turning Inputs On and Off

 
 

Applies to: @RISK 5.x-7.x

To run a simulation using static values, there a few easy ways to turn variables on and off without replacing distribution formulas with constants.  

  • In the Model Window, right-click the input and select Lock Input from Sampling.   (You can select multiple distributions with Shift-click or Ctrl-click, and lock all of them in one operation.)
  • In the worksheet, right-click the distribution and select Define Distributions.  In the Define Distributions dialog, click the fx icon near the top right to open the Properties dialog.  On the Sampling tab of the dialog, click Lock Input From Sampling.
  • Edit the distribution formula in the worksheet to insert a RiskLock() property function.  


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