False positives and false negatives for clients and their law departments

Let’s apply in more detail a concept that has been touched on (See my post of Dec. 17, 2006 on false positives.). A false positive happens when a client comes to a lawyer when in fact there is not a material legal issue; or one occurs when a lawyer identifies a legal problem that actually turns out not to be present. A false negative, conversely, happens when a client fails to come to the law department where there is an actual legal problem (See my post of March 18, 2007 on pockets of resistance to the use of the law department.); likewise, it happens when a lawyer fails to spot a legal issue of some consequence in a transaction.

It would be proper, although abstract, to say that law departments should put their heart and soul into minimizing the number of any of these false positives and negatives (See my post of Aug. 22, 2006 on difficulties with errors.).

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