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Apples and Oranges -- or Pears

Sometimes the biggest fights are over how we label things. This happens in civil trials, which can often come down to a battle of the experts. Once any Daubert challenges to the admission of testimony based on qualifications or methodology are resolved, the expert testimony at trial may involve competing visions of reality. Just as in the field of economics, where the measurement of the price index can use a shorter or longer time horizon, experts at trial will come to differing conclusions based on the way that the issue is framed.

Part of the trial advocate's job is to work with the expert to find the way to present the expert's analysis that best fits the client's story in the case. The lawyer needs to respect the expertise of the witness while working with the witness to present the testimony best for this jury and this client.

The jury will probably accept a shiny red apple, but on the other hand, maybe a pear tart will get their attention this time.

The CPI measures price changes for a basket of goods and services that is updated every two years. The PCE index’s formula changes the weights of the items more frequently to account for the substitution effect—for example, if consumers buy fewer apples and more pears when apple prices rise and pear prices don’t.

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