About this website and its creator
I unapologetically acknowledge this website is intended to accompany my book by that name, Risk and Rigor: A Lawyer's Guide to Assessing Cases and Advising Clients (DRI Press, 2019) (also free for download through DRI Press), and to provide easy access to resources for those interested in decision tree analysis.
Risk and Rigor NEEDED web-based accompaniment because its chapter on the "How To's" references a series of short videos that show the process of building a handwritten decision tree, step by step. Though the book provides urls, the links are not "live" in the hard copy. (They are live and clickable in electronic, downloadable pdf versions.) Thus, this website contains a page for Risk and Rigor book readers that includes direct links to these videos, and to its free downloadable chapters.
I hope it will be useful for lawyers seeking analytical and communication strategies toward well advised and fully informed clients. Of course, it's also for the benefit of mediators, judges, magistrates, and other professionals who work in litigation contexts, and for professors and trainers of current and future lawyers.
To these ends, the website assembles a curated collection articles, recordings, case examples, and links to software, many books and other resources for lawyers’ rigorous assessment of litigation risks, costs, and consequences, and for effective lawyer-client communication about that assessment. It also contains a sizable cache teaching materials – powerpoints, problem sets, case simulations, instructors’ guide - for use in law schools and continuing legal education programs. The vast majority of these materials are available for download or via link without charge. Though I can’t offer free copies of books and articles I don’t have permission to distribute, this site does provide links to some that are particularly useful and commercially available.
I hope that lawyers, law professors, law students and other legal professionals using this site will spread the word. Perhaps, over time, more lawyers and clients will engage in rigorous analysis and robust discussion of litigation risks, costs, and consequences. Our profession’s standards will be more widely realized by more fully informed clients, equipped to make decisions about whether to commence, continue or settle a legal dispute.
I also hope that there are lawyers, law professors, trainers, and consultants with deep interests in teaching and using the assembled articles and material. It can be difficult to track down written or video resources showing how various methodologies or tools can be used with a client, advice for the autodidact, professors and other instructors on how to teach the material is not always easy to find. As a result, I invite those who visit the site and use or seek to use these methods in practice to join me in improving the quality of and assess to helpful teaching and learning resources.
Marjorie Corman Aaron
Creator and Author
is a Professor of Practice, Emeritus, and served as Director of the Center for Practice at the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she taught negotiation, client counseling, mediation, trial practice, and decision analysis from 1999-2023. She presents on these topics for law firms, businesses, judges, mediator panels, and other organizations in the U.S. and internationally. Formerly the Executive Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and a Vice President and mediator at Endispute, Inc. (JAMS), Professor Aaron is a mediator and arbitrator, and often uses decision tree analysis in her practice.
She the author of Risk and Rigor: A Lawyer's Guide to Assessing Casea and Advising Clients (DRI Press 2019) and Client Science: Advice for Lawyers on Counseling Clients Through Bad News and Other Legal Realities (Oxford Univ. Press, 2012) as well as many articles, chapters, simulations, and videos.