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Evidence

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Evidence

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Forensics, Chicken Soup, And Meteorites: A Tribute To Michael Risinger, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2018

Forensics, Chicken Soup, And Meteorites: A Tribute To Michael Risinger, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Michael Risinger's scholarship has had a profound impact on our field. And while his work has run the gamut in evidence law, I think it is clear that Michael's true love has always been expert evidence, and more specifically, forensics. So let me take a moment to revisit "an oldie but a goodie": his 1989 article entitled Exorcism of Ignorance as a Proxy for Rational Knowledge: The Lessons of Handwriting Identification "Expertise," published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and co-authored with Mark Denbeaux and Michael Saks.' For those of you who have not read the article, you should. …


Manipulation Of Suspects And Unrecorded Questioning, Christopher Slobogin May 2017

Manipulation Of Suspects And Unrecorded Questioning, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Fifty years after Miranda, courts still do not have clear guidance on the types oftechniques police may use during interrogation. While first-generation tactics (a.k.a. the third degree) are banned, second-generation tactics such as those found in the famous Reid Manual continue to be used by interrogators. The Supreme Court has sent only vague signals as to which of these second- generation techniques, if any, are impermissible, and has made no mention of newly developed third-generation tactics that are much less reliant on manipulation. This Article divides second-generation techniques into four categories: impersonation, rationalization, fabrication, and negotiation. After concluding, based on …


Group To Individual Inference In Scientific Expert Testimony, Christopher Slobogin, David Faigman, John Monahan Jan 2014

Group To Individual Inference In Scientific Expert Testimony, Christopher Slobogin, David Faigman, John Monahan

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A fundamental divide exists between what scientists do as scientists and what courts often ask them to do as expert witnesses. Whereas scientists almost invariably inquire into phenomena at the group level, trial courts typically need to resolve cases at the individual level. In short, scientists generalize while courts particularize. A basic challenge for trial courts that rely on scientific experts, therefore, concerns determining whether and how scientific knowledge derived from studying groups can be helpful in the individual cases before them (what this Article refers to as "G2i'). To aid in dealing with this challenge, this Article proposes a …


Reconceptualizing The Burden Of Proof, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2013

Reconceptualizing The Burden Of Proof, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The preponderance standard is conventionally described as an absolute probability threshold of 0.5. This Essay argues that this absolute characterization of the burden of proof is wrong. Rather than focusing on an absolute threshold, the Essay reconceptualizes the preponderance standard as a probability ratio and shows how doing so eliminates many of the classical problems associated with probabilistic theories of evidence. Using probability ratios eliminates the so-called Conjunction Paradox, and developing the ratio tests under a Bayesian perspective further explains the Blue Bus problem and other puzzles surrounding statistical evidence. By harmonizing probabilistic theories of proof with recent critiques advocating …


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 long …


Scientific Evidence As Foreign Law, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2010

Scientific Evidence As Foreign Law, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Most contemporary debates about scientific evidence focus on admissibility under Daubert and the Federal Rules of Evidence. That bias is quite understandable-after all, it is the framework imposed by the United States Supreme Court. Daubert, however, rests on a fundamental assumption: that courts should treat scientific facts like any other adjudicative facts ultimately left to the jury. Perhaps the involvement of specialized knowledge requires judges to act as gatekeepers to ensure some basic level of reliability, but under Daubert, scientific facts are still just facts. As I will argue, scientific facts fit awkwardly into the conventional framework for conceptualizing and …


Law, Statistics, And The Reference Class Problem, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2009

Law, Statistics, And The Reference Class Problem, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Statistical data are powerful, if not crucial, pieces of evidence in the courtroom. Whether one is trying to demonstrate the rarity of a DNA profile, estimate the value of damaged property, or determine the likelihood that a criminal defendant will recidivate, statistics often have an important role to play. Statistics, however, raise a number of serious challenges for the legal system, including concerns that they are difficult to understand, are given too much deference from juries, or are easily manipulated by the parties' experts. In this preview piece, I address one of these challenges, known as the "reference class problem," …


The Perils Of Evidentiary Manipulation, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2007

The Perils Of Evidentiary Manipulation, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The use of evidentiary rules to achieve substantive goals strikes me as a Faustian bargain, and, given Bierschbach and Stein's acknowledgedly tentative position, I hope to dissuade them of the virtues of the practice. My goal therefore is to explore briefly the potential dark side of specialized evidentiary rules. The concerns of injecting substantive goals into evidence law extend far beyond the narrow legitimacy concerns Bierschbach and Stein raise. It is not simply the question of whether we aspire to a pluralistic or majority-take-all democratic society. Rather, evidentiary manipulation threatens the legitimacy of criminal and evidence law... Bierschbach and Stein's …


Same Old, Same Old: Scientific Evidence Past And Present, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2006

Same Old, Same Old: Scientific Evidence Past And Present, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For over twenty years, and particularly since the Supreme Court's Daubert' decision in 1993, much ink has been spilled debating the problem of scientific evidence in the courts. Are jurors or, in the alternative, judges qualified to assess scientific reliability? Do courts really need to be concerned about "junk science"? What mechanisms can promote better decision making in scientific cases? Even a cursory scan of the literature shows the recent explosion of interest in these issues, precipitating new treatises, hundreds of articles, and countless conferences for judges, practitioners, and academics.


Testilying: Police Perjury And What To Do About It, Christopher Slobogin Jan 1996

Testilying: Police Perjury And What To Do About It, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Police, like people generally, lie in all sorts of contexts for all sorts of reasons. This article has focused on police lying designed to convict individuals the police think are guilty. Strong measures are needed to reduce the powerful incentives to practice such testilying and the reluctance of prosecutors and judges to do anything about it. Among them might be the adoption of rewards for truth telling, the redefinition of probable cause, and the elimination of the exclusionary rule and its insidious effect on the resolve of legal actors to implement the commands of the Constitution. Ultimately, however, the various …


Capacity To Contest A Search And Seizure: The Passing Of Old Rules And Some Suggestions For New Ones, Christopher Slobogin Jan 1981

Capacity To Contest A Search And Seizure: The Passing Of Old Rules And Some Suggestions For New Ones, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Professor Slobogin examines recent Supreme Court decisions involving standing to challenge search and seizure violations, and argues that the Court's commitment to a "totality of the circumstances" approach has permitted erosion of fourth amendment protections. After concluding that these decisions provide little guidance to lower courts, Professor Slobogin offers a set of principles which will aid in analyzing the Court's direction.