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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #83 – additions to earlier posts

Probabilities vs statistics. Leonard Mlodinow, The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (Pantheon Books 2008) at 122, explains the distinction between probability and statistics. “The former [probability] concerns predictions based on fixed probabilities; the latter [statistics] concerns the inference of those probabilities based on observed data.” Ignorant of the two meanings, I have used “probability” 14 times on this blog, and probably should have used some variation on the idea of statistics. Probabilities apply to dice, since we know the possibilities. The distribution of outcomes from a group of lawsuits falls into the realm of statistics. Nearly everything that occurs to law departments rests on inferences of probabilities from data (See my post of Jan. 20, 2007: statistics with 28 references; and May 31, 2006: statistics.)

Managerial considerations when a law department has many international offices. In a recent article I took on the challenges general counsel face when they manage lawyers in multiple offices outside their home country.

Four-time general counsel. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 15, Nov. 2008 at 72, turns up another lawyer who has been general counsel at four companies: Guy Rounsaville, Jr. Rounsaville was for 21 years the chief counsel of Wells Fargo & Company, but then became the general counsel for Visa International (after serving as its acting general counsel for 18 months while at a law firm). Five years later he took the top spot at La Salle Bank, where he left in May and he has just begun his fourth general counselship at The Doctors Company.

New vocabulary for law department managers. I encountered “multi-shore support” in Legal Strat. Rev., Vol. 1, Autumn 2008 at 3. It sounds like a mixture of offshore and onshore legal processing. Something like virtual geography for LPOs. I also bumped into “out-of-house counsel” recently, which is more demure than “outhouse” but as to precisely where I saw the new term I am not privy.