I keep waiting to be wrong. In fact, there are many instances where I am wrong. But I don’t think I am in this instance.
But the numbers are the numbers and here’s what we know through the end of March 2014. The “win” percentage of all-public panels so far in 2014 was 33%. The “win” percentage of majority-public panels was 43%. Isn’t that a surprise? So, again I ask – What was the purpose of this change? It’s like the placebo portion of the test is getting healthier than the patients taking the test medication.
Worse still, the numbers have flipped. If we include all of 2013 and the first three months of 2014, the all-public panels are at 42% and the majority-public panels are at 44%. And the numbers are trending up, not down.
So I ask again – Why did we do this? Will the Claimants’ bar now allege that even the all-public panels, devoid of any industry panelist influence, are still biased against claimants? Or is it, as I have thought all along, that crappy cases go to hearing and the Claimants’ bar thinks, apparently without basis, that an all-public panel will be comfortable with wool over its eyes.
That’s the admittedly smug view of one lawyer from Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida. I’m Marc Dobin.