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Full-Text Articles in Law

When 10 Trials Are Better Than 1000: An Evidentiary Perspective On Trial Sampling, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2012

When 10 Trials Are Better Than 1000: An Evidentiary Perspective On Trial Sampling, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In many mass tort cases, separately trying all individual claims is impractical, and thus a number of trial courts and commentators have explored the use of statistical sampling as a way of efficiently processing claims. Most discussions on the topic, however, implicitly assume that sampling is a “second best” solution: individual trials are preferred for accuracy, and sampling only justified under extraordinary circumstances. This Essay explores whether this assumption is really true. While intuitively one might think that individual trials would be more accurate at estimating liability than extrapolating from a subset of cases, the Essay offers three ways in ...


Erie And The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2012

Erie And The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Jay Tidmarsh offers an intriguing new test for drawing the allimportant line between procedure and substance for purposes of Erie. The Tidmarsh test is attractively simple, yet seemingly reaches the right result in separating out truly “procedural” rules from more substantive ones. Since I am not a proceduralist, in this Response I will leave the Tidmarsh test’s explanatory power and practical workability vis-à-vis general civil procedure rules to others more qualified than I. Instead, I want to focus on the implications of the Tidmarsh test for the Federal Rules of Evidence. Like others in the evidence world, I have ...


The Risks Of Taking Facebook At Face Value: Why The Psychology Of Social Networking Should Influence The Evidentiary Relevance Of Facebook Photographs, Kathryn R. Brown Jan 2012

The Risks Of Taking Facebook At Face Value: Why The Psychology Of Social Networking Should Influence The Evidentiary Relevance Of Facebook Photographs, Kathryn R. Brown

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

Social networking sites in general, and Facebook in particular, have changed the way individuals communicate and express themselves. Facebook users share a multitude of personal information through the website, especially photographs. Additionally, Facebook enables individuals to tailor their online profiles to project a desired persona. However, as social scientists have demonstrated, the image users portray can mislead outside observers. Given the wealth of information available on Facebook, it is no surprise that attorneys often peruse the website for evidence to dispute opponents' claims.

This Note examines the admission and relevance of Facebook photographs offered to prove a litigant's state ...


Compelled Production Of Encrypted Data, John E.D. Larkin Jan 2012

Compelled Production Of Encrypted Data, John E.D. Larkin

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

There is a myth that shadowy and powerful government agencies can crack the encryption software that criminals use to protect computers filled with child pornography and stolen credit card numbers. The reality is that cheap or free encryption programs can place protected data beyond law enforcement's reach. If courts seriously mean to protect the victims of Internet crime--all too often children--then Congress must adopt a legal mechanism to remedy the technological deficiency.

To date, police and prosecutors have relied on subpoenas to either compel defendants to produce their password, or to decipher their protected data. This technique has been ...