Chris Daniel’s interview part 3 (in which he demonstrates the Dunning-Kruger effect)


Lawyers who try cases will get a chuckle out of Chris Daniel’s description, in his interview with David Jennings (part 1 of my commentary; part 2) of how to figure out how many jurors to summon to eliminate waste:

Well, we could use statistical analysis to see how many people would typically be needed on any given day for a docket size. And so, if we know that the docket has X number of cases that we were statistically going to need X number of people to show up and, therefore, we only need to send out X number of notices and not just a standard every day we’re going to send 10,000 notices and every day we’re going to get 400 people to show up.

First, the District Clerk is sending out 11,600 jury notices a week (not “a day”) and getting 2,500 people to show up. (These numbers are not hard to discover, Mr. Daniel.)

On any given Monday, there are 100 or more cases set for trial in the criminal courthouse (where most jury trials take place). At most, 38 of these cases could go to trial. For 38 jury panels, a bare minimum of 1,680 jurors would be required (24 for each of the 15 misdemeanor courts and 60 for each of the 22 felony courts and state-jail court).

38 cases will never go to trial in one day; how many actually do depends on an infinitude of human factors—what are the charges, who are the lawyers, did the State’s witnesses turn up, what did the judge have for breakfast? On some days, not all of the potential jurors get to courtrooms; on other days, trials are delayed because there aren’t enough potential jurors.

The number of cases on the docket is the least predictive factor in determining how many jurors will be needed. There may be a way to determine jury panel needs from docket size, but it would be a matter more of chaos theory or necromancy than of statistics. In any case, he may want to approach the judges with his analysis, since they are the ones who tell the District Clerk how many jurors he must summon.

Here’s another of Daniel’s dim ideas:

We were talking back then that we needed to address combining online filing systems for the, for streamlining the various ways that you can file a document, whether it’s federal with PACER, whether it’s local with ProDoc, or E-Filing, or whether it’s with the county clerk’s office. And we want to make sure that we can basically come up with a one-stop shop filing so that it’s not only easier on the attorneys, easier on the judges, but lowers the cost for the average citizen that’s using an attorney, because if you have a case that’s a federal case and you have a portion of it that either gets removed or dismissed, you want to make sure that you can send those documents to the right place as quickly as possible without having to refile and reimage and redo whatever with the same document in three different places.

So if Daniel were to get elected we could look forward to the District Clerk’s filing system being combined with PACER (which is the Federal courts’ Public Access to Court Electronic Records, a totally different thing than those courts’ ECF, or Electronic Court Filing, system) and the County Clerk’s Office.

Because “if you have a case that’s a federal case and you have a portion of it that either gets removed or dismissed, you want to make sure that you can send those documents to the right place as quickly as possible without having to refile and reimage and redo whatever with the same document in three different places.” To quote another lightweight, “So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others. But, um.”

For the non-lawyers like Chris Daniel: the District Clerk’s job is not to unify the District Clerk’s filing system with the Federal courts’; it’s to make that system work. Loren Jackson is in the process of creating a free in-house e-filing portal; the system we’re  stuck with at the moment is a result of the (Republican-dominated) courts statewide giving a monopoly to one corporation.

Chris Daniel is, by all indications, a politically ambitious guy with an average IQ who lacks not only any clue about the job for which he’s applying, but also the metacognitive ability to recognize that he’s clueless.

Loren Jackson, by contrast, is a really smart guy who ran for office because he dealt with the District Clerk’s Office and saw ways to make things better. He knows the District Clerk’s office inside and out, and he has already started saving the County money.


2 responses to “Chris Daniel’s interview part 3 (in which he demonstrates the Dunning-Kruger effect)”

  1. He tried to explain his “combined efiling” scheme to me when I saw him out campaigning and cornered him over the summer. He said “Washigton State does it.” I looked later and could not find what on Earth he was talking about. But at least he knows the name of another state!

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