Supplemental comments about decision-tree software by a partner who uses it

Brian Daley, the author of an article I cited (See my post of Feb. 22, 2009: software to depict and quantify decisions.), was kind enough to email me with some additional explanation. I have slightly edited the following excerpts.

I have only used TreeAge software.

The mechanical process of creating a decision-tree is relatively easy. The time-consuming part is analyzing the main issues in a litigation and determining the dollar value of the various possible outcomes. A simple decision-tree, such as the example in my article, can be created in less than an hour, once you are familiar with the software and once the issues and dollar values have been identified. In complex litigation, it can take many hours to identify the important issues and determine how they interact with each other (mind you, determining what the issues are and how they relate to each other is essential whether you use a decision-tree or not).

I gave a presentation on this topic at the ACC Annual Meeting last October in Seattle. My fellow panellists were in-house counsel from Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Astellas Pharma Canada Inc. They all discussed how they use decision-tree analysis.

I find sensitivity analysis relatively easy with TreeAge. I will say, however, that you have to use the software frequently to stay comfortable with it.”

Thank you, Brian.

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