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Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan 2020 University of Wisconsin Law School

Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan

Articles

Few medico-legal matters have generated as much controversy--both in the medical literature and in the courtroom--as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), now known more broadly as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The controversies are of enormous significance in the law because child abuse pediatricians claim, on the basis of a few non-specific medical findings supported by a weak and methodologically flawed research base, to be able to “diagnose” child abuse, and thereby to provide all of the evidence necessary to satisfy all of the legal elements for criminal prosecution (or removal of children from their parents). It is a matter, therefore, in ...


Industry-Influenced Evidence: Bias, Conflict, And Manipulation In Scientific Evidence, Dean A. Elwell 2020 Boston College Law School

Industry-Influenced Evidence: Bias, Conflict, And Manipulation In Scientific Evidence, Dean A. Elwell

Boston College Law Review

In 2008, in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider scientific studies that a litigant had funded. Despite this rejection, many courts have failed even to recognize the dangers of relying on such potentially biased research. As a result, standards for the admission of scientific evidence have evolved without accounting for the risks posed by industry-influenced evidence. This Note argues for meaningful admissibility reviews via mandatory disclosure of industry influence. In this context, the evidentiary fraud doctrine should guide applications of Frye v. United States and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Toward A More Apparent Approach To Considering The Admission Of Expert Testimony, Thomas D. Schroeder 2020 Chief United States District Judge, Middle District of North Carolina; Member, United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence; Chair of Subcommittee on Rule 702; Senior Lecturer, Duke University School of Law; Member, American Law Institute

Toward A More Apparent Approach To Considering The Admission Of Expert Testimony, Thomas D. Schroeder

Notre Dame Law Review

This Article highlights lingering confusion in the caselaw as to the proper standard for the trial court’s discharge of its gatekeeping role for the admission of expert testimony. The Article urges correction of the faulty application of Daubert’s admonition as to “shaky but admissible” evidence as a substitute for proper discharge of the trial court’s gatekeeper function under Rule 104(a). The Article concludes with several suggestions for trial and appellate courts to consider for better decisionmaking in discharging their duty to apply Rule 104(a)’s preponderance standard to the elements of Rule 702.


Commentary: Scientific Evidence - From A "Deferent" To A "Novice" Judge: Comments On Zoppellari's Paper, Marko Novak 2020 New University, European Faculty of Law

Commentary: Scientific Evidence - From A "Deferent" To A "Novice" Judge: Comments On Zoppellari's Paper, Marko Novak

OSSA Conference Archive

No abstract provided.


The Acquisition Of Scientific Evidence Between Frye And Daubert. From Ad Hominem Arguments To Cross-Examination Among Experts, Lorenzo Zoppellari 2020 University of Trento

The Acquisition Of Scientific Evidence Between Frye And Daubert. From Ad Hominem Arguments To Cross-Examination Among Experts, Lorenzo Zoppellari

OSSA Conference Archive

The Frye and Daubert rulings give us two very different ways to intend the relation between law and science. Through the contributions of Wellman and Walton, we will see how the main method to question the expert’s testimony before a judge deferent to science is to question her personal integrity by using ad hominem arguments. Otherwise, using Alvin Goldman’s novice/expert problem, we will investigate if other manners of argumentative cross-examinations are possible.


Meta-Evidence And Preliminary Injunctions, Maggie Wittlin 2020 University of California, Irvine School of Law

Meta-Evidence And Preliminary Injunctions, Maggie Wittlin

UC Irvine Law Review

The decision to issue a preliminary injunction is enormously consequential; it has been likened to “judgment and execution before trial.” Yet, courts regularly say that our primary tool for promoting truth seeking at trial—the Federal Rules of Evidence—does not apply at preliminary injunction hearings. Judges frequently consider inadmissible evidence to make what may be the most important ruling in the case. This Article critically examines this widespread evidentiary practice.

In critiquing courts’ justifications for abandoning the Rules in the preliminary injunction context, this Article introduces a new concept: “meta-evidence.” Meta-evidence is evidence of what evidence will be presented ...


Evidence, W. Randall Bassett, Val Leppert, Elijah T. Staggers 2020 Mercer University School of Law

Evidence, W. Randall Bassett, Val Leppert, Elijah T. Staggers

Mercer Law Review

In the 2019 term, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued several opinions deciding evidentiary issues. Those opinions span a broad range of topics including constitutional limitations on admissible evidence, expert testimony, the scope of certain hearsay exceptions, and various other evidentiary rules. This article looks back at the Eleventh Circuit's 2019 term to highlight and analyze keynote decisions on those issues.


The Clergy-Penitent Privilege: The Role Of Clergy In Perpetuating And Preventing Domestic Violence, Kami Orton 2020 University of Nevada, Las Vegas -- William S. Boyd School of Law

The Clergy-Penitent Privilege: The Role Of Clergy In Perpetuating And Preventing Domestic Violence, Kami Orton

Nevada Law Journal Forum

Domestic violence occurs at alarming rates in all socioeconomic levels, races, locations, sexual orientations, and professions. Domestic violence occurs at similar frequencies among religious and non-religious individuals. Clergy play an important role in religious communities. The clergy-penitent privilege was created to protect the relationship between clergy and communicant and prevents clergy from testifying about spiritual communications. However, the privilege is currently an absolute privilege which is unnecessary and hurts victims and survivors of domestic violence. Additionally, the statutorily written privilege is not aligned with the application and practice of the privilege. Practice indicates clergy tend to desire to testify and ...


Climate Change Science And The Daubert Standard, Fred K. Morrison, Craig Manson, Matthew C. Wickersham 2020 William & Mary Law School

Climate Change Science And The Daubert Standard, Fred K. Morrison, Craig Manson, Matthew C. Wickersham

William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

Climate change science attempts to predict the future based on complex modeling of potential levels of CO2, other greenhouse gases, manmade conditions, and naturally occurring events. Even the most widely cited analysis of climate change studies expressly acknowledges the limitations on accurately predicting the effects of climate change on anything other than a macro basis.1 These studies acknowledge substantial uncertainty in the prediction of climate change and its effects on a regional level, much less on a local level.2 Recent lawsuits brought by the State of Rhode Island; the counties of King (Washington), Marin (California), and San Mateo ...


Young Children's Ability To Describe Intermediate Clothing Placement, Breanne E. Wylie, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly McWilliams, Angela Evans, Thomas D. Lyon 2020 Brock University

Young Children's Ability To Describe Intermediate Clothing Placement, Breanne E. Wylie, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Angela Evans, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Children’s ability to adequately describe clothing placement is essential to evaluating their allegations of sexual abuse. Intermediate clothing placement (partially removed clothing) may be difficult for young children to describe, requiring more detailed explanations to indicate the location of clothing (e.g., the clothes were pulled down to the knees). The current study investigated 172 3- to 6-year-olds’ descriptions of clothing placement when responding to commonly used questions (yes/no, forced-choice, open-choice, where), as well as children’s on-off response tendencies when describing intermediate placement (i.e.., labeling the clothing as fully on or off). Results revealed that "where ...


Truth And Justice Vs. The Integrity Of The Family Unit: Family Members' Testimonies From A Comparative And Normative Viewpoint, Dr. Guy Ben-David 2020 Netanya Academic College

Truth And Justice Vs. The Integrity Of The Family Unit: Family Members' Testimonies From A Comparative And Normative Viewpoint, Dr. Guy Ben-David

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


The Truthsayer And The Court: Expert Testimony On Credibility, Michael W. Mullane 2020 University of Maine School of Law

The Truthsayer And The Court: Expert Testimony On Credibility, Michael W. Mullane

Maine Law Review

The purpose of this Article is to analyze the admissibility of expert testimony on credibility. State v. Woodburn serves as a lens to focus on the broader issues. The primary issue is an examination of expert testimony on credibility in light of the Federal Rules of Evidence and their progeny. The Rules of Evidence mandate admission or exclusion of expert testimony based on certain criteria. How are these criteria applied to expert testimony on credibility? How should they be applied? The surprising survivability of other criteria discarded by the Rules is also considered.


State V. Pinkham: Erosion Of Meaningful Forth Amendment Protection For Vehicle Stops In Maine?, Roger M. Clement Jr. 2020 University of Maine School of Law

State V. Pinkham: Erosion Of Meaningful Forth Amendment Protection For Vehicle Stops In Maine?, Roger M. Clement Jr.

Maine Law Review

In State v. Pinkham, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, held that a police officer's stop of a motorist to inquire and advise about the motorist's improper-but not illegal-lane usage did not necessarily violate the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unreasonable seizures. The Pinkham decision is the first time that the Law Court has validated the stop of a moving vehicle in the absence of either a suspected violation of law or an imminent, ongoing threat to highway safety.
This Note considers whether the Law Court was correct in sustaining the police officer's ...


Please Stop: The Law Court's Recent Roadblock Decisions, Jonathan A. Block 2020 University of Maine School of Law

Please Stop: The Law Court's Recent Roadblock Decisions, Jonathan A. Block

Maine Law Review

Police checkpoints or “roadblocks” have become an increasingly utilized law enforcement tool. At best, these checkpoints result in only a minor inconvenience to motorists. When abused, however, roadblocks have the potential for invidious invasions of privacy and personal freedom. Roadblocks are designed to deter, and to a lesser extent detect, criminal activity by stopping everyone—both the guilty and the law-abiding—for a brief inspection, thereby impinging to some degree on one's freedom of travel, privacy, and “right to be let alone.” Such “seizures” must be “reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment in order to survive constitutional challenge. The major ...


The Adversarial Mindset, Dan Simon, Minwoo Ahn, Douglas M. Stenstrom, Stephen J. Read 2020 USC Gould School of Law

The Adversarial Mindset, Dan Simon, Minwoo Ahn, Douglas M. Stenstrom, Stephen J. Read

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Many social outcomes are reached by means of competitions between opposing actors. While the positive effects of competition are beyond dispute, this paper contends that competitive situations also trigger a particular psychological mindset that can distort contestants’ judgment and lead to suboptimal courses of action. The paper presents a theoretical framework that consists of a myside bias, by which people adopt a self-serving view of the competition, evaluate themselves favorably, and evaluate their counterpart unfavorably. The framework also proposes the construct of otherside bias, by which people impute to their counterparts distortions that are similar, but opposite, to their own ...


Evidence, Arrest Circumstances, And Felony Cocaine Case Processing, Jacqueline G. Lee, Alexander Testa 2020 Boise State University

Evidence, Arrest Circumstances, And Felony Cocaine Case Processing, Jacqueline G. Lee, Alexander Testa

Criminal Justice Faculty Publications and Presentations

Case evidence and situational arrest characteristics are widely speculated to influence courtroom actor decisions, yet such measures are infrequently included in research. Using new data on felony cocaine cases from an urban county in a Southern non-guideline state, this study examines how physical evidence and arrest circumstances affect three stages of case processing: initial charge type, charge reduction, and sentence length. The influence of evidence appeared strongest at the early stage when prosecutors chose the appropriate charge, though certain evidentiary and arrest measures continued to influence later decisions. Charge reductions were driven mostly by legal factors, and while guilt should ...


Does Impeachment By Conviction Create Undue Prejudice? An Experiment And An Analysis, David Crump 2020 The University of Akron

Does Impeachment By Conviction Create Undue Prejudice? An Experiment And An Analysis, David Crump

Akron Law Review

The Federal Rules of Evidence, and rules in the States, allow for impeachment of the testimony of a witness by proof of the witness's criminal convictions. If the witness is the criminal defendant, however, there are restrictions on this kind of impeachment. The theory is that the jury is supposed to use the evidence solely for impeachment and not to support an inference that the defendant has a propensity toward committing crimes. But intuition tells us that the jury is likely to be influenced toward the prohibited inference of guilt of the crime charged rather than devaluation of credibility ...


Secret Conviction Programs, Meghan J. Ryan 2020 Southern Methodist University

Secret Conviction Programs, Meghan J. Ryan

Washington and Lee Law Review

Judges and juries across the country are convicting criminal defendants based on secret evidence. Although defendants have sought access to the details of this evidence—the results of computer programs and their underlying algorithms and source codes—judges have generally denied their requests. Instead, judges have prioritized the business interests of the for-profit companies that developed these “conviction programs” and which could lose market share if the secret algorithms and source codes on which the programs are based were exposed. This decision has jeopardized criminal defendants’ constitutional rights.


Lost Opportunity: Supreme Court Declines To Resolve Circuit Split On Brady Obligations During Plea-Bargaining, Cameron Casey 2020 Boston College Law School

Lost Opportunity: Supreme Court Declines To Resolve Circuit Split On Brady Obligations During Plea-Bargaining, Cameron Casey

Boston College Law Review

On September 18, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Alvarez v. City of Brownsville held that prosecutors are not constitutionally required to disclose exculpatory evidence to criminal defendants during the plea-bargaining process. With its decision, the Fifth Circuit entered the circuit split over the meaning of impeachment evidence in the context of the United States Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in United States v. Ruiz, where the Court held that the prosecution need not turn over impeachment evidence during the plea-bargaining process. Some circuits interpret impeachment evidence to include exculpatory evidence, whereas others had ...


Limitations Of Washington Evidence Rule 413, Sarah Desautels 2020 University of Washington School of Law

Limitations Of Washington Evidence Rule 413, Sarah Desautels

Washington Law Review

This Comment analyzes Washington State Evidence Rule 413 (ER 413). ER 413 renders evidence of the immigration status of criminal defendants, civil plaintiffs, and witnesses presumptively inadmissible at trial. The Washington State Supreme Court adopted ER413 in September 2018. It is the first of its kind in the nation. ER 413 provides a clear, uniform rule limiting the use of immigration evidence, an area where prior caselaw had created uncertainty. However, ER 413 falls short of its goal of promoting access to justice and protecting immigrants from jury bias without a supporting system that addresses (1) the dangers of implicit ...


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