Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Fox and Hedgehog Voir Dire
Yesterday I mentioned again the very important book, Expert Political Judgment, which basically made the point that, while experts rarely are, the "often wrong but never in doubt" crowd (aka "hedgehogs" who just KNOW) may dominate (especially Sunday morning talk shows) but the "foxes" who stay open to reality and testing of their judgments are the ones more likely to right in their judgments. I thought of it again this evening as I read Anne Reed's latest post at Deliberations, where she deals with a critic who protests that learning how to do more effective voir dire is in effect not possible. Anne disagrees. The problem for both writers is, IMO, that the critic is a hedgehog ("voir dire learning can't be done") while Anne is a fox (hope you appreciate that, Anne, if you haven't heard it in a while) who accepts that certainty in jury selection is impossible but people can nevertheless get better at it. Not being a lawyer, I'll stay out of the dirty linen, but I think Expert Political Judgment pretty much tells us whom to put our money on.