Posts Tagged With: Cause and effect

PhilStatLaw: Infections in the court

Nathan Schachtman appropriately refers to the way in which “dicta infects Daubert” in his latest blogpost Siracusano Dicta Infects Daubert Decisions. Here the “dicta” (or dictum?) is a throwaway remark on (lack of) statistical significance and causal inference by the Supreme Court, in an earlier case involving the drug company Matrixx (Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano). As I note in my post of last Feb,

“the ruling had nothing to do with what’s required to show cause and effect, but only what information a company is required to reveal to its shareholders in order not to mislead them (as regards information that could be of relevance to them in their cost-benefit assessments of the stock’s value and future price).”(See “Distortions in the Court”)

obiter dicta

  1. A judge’s incidental expression of opinion, not essential to the decision and not establishing precedent.
  2. An incidental remark.

It was already surprising that the Supreme Court took up that earlier case; the way they handled the irrelevant statistical issues was more so. Continue reading

Categories: PhilStatLaw, Statistics | Tags: , , , ,

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