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University of Georgia School of Law

Evidence

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Gatekeeping After Gilbert: How Lawyers Should Address The Court's New Emphasis, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson Mar 2006

Gatekeeping After Gilbert: How Lawyers Should Address The Court's New Emphasis, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson

Popular Media

In the world of modern trials, expert witnesses are the coin of the realm. Lawyers know that most of the time, experts are case-breakers. Their demeanor, knowledge, and presentation ability are key qualities. Accordingly, their persuasive effect on modern lay jurors makes it incumbent on judges to ensure that an expert's opinions are appropriately directed. That means not allowing an economist to testify about the medical dynamics of bone disease, for example.


Daubert & Danger: The "Fit" Of Expert Predictions In Civil Commitments, Alex Scherr Nov 2003

Daubert & Danger: The "Fit" Of Expert Predictions In Civil Commitments, Alex Scherr

Scholarly Works

The opinions of experts in prediction in civil commitment hearings should help the courts, but over thirty years of commentary, judicial opinion, and scientific review argue that predictions of danger lack scientific rigor. The United States Supreme Court has commented regularly on the uncertainty of predictive science. The American Psychiatric Association has argued to the Court that "[t]he professional literature uniformly establishes that such predictions are fundamentally of very low reliability." Scientific studies indicate that some predictions do little better than chance or lay speculation, and even the best predictions leave substantial room for error about individual cases. The ...