Asking ourselves the Moneyball question about expert evidence

AuthorAdam Dodek
g Winter 2016
Asking urselves the Mneyball
questin abut expert evience
Lawyers love baseball. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Baseball is
a game that is full of tradition and rules, and it’s very slow. Whoops!
I meant “slow to change.” Baseball has also become more protracted
and more expensive over time. Just like litigation. In the movie Moneyball,
Brad Pitt stars as Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, a contrar-
ian who takes on baseball’s conventional wisdom and wins.1 The movie–
based on the best-selling book by Michael Lewis2– is about how the low-
budget Oakland A’s were able to compete with big-budget, free-spending
teams such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox by challen-
ging long-held sacred cows of baseball and instead employing an analytical,
evidence-based approach. Moneyball changed how baseball players are
evaluated and spawned the whole analytics industry in sports. It has also
become a popular business school case study that is applied to many dier-
ent subject areas.3 We can also apply Moneyball to the use of expert witnesses
* This article is based on the J. Donald Mawhinney Lectureship in Professional Eth-
ics delivered by Prof. Dodek at the University of British Columbia in 2016.
1 Moneyball (Sony, 2011). See IMDB, “Moneyball,” online: imdb. com/title/tt1210166.
2 Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Ar t of Winning an Unfair Game (New York: Norton,
3 See eg Frances X Frei, Dennis Campbell and Eliot Sherman, Harvard Business
Review, Case Study: Moneyball (A): What Are You Paying For? (August 2005)

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