September 26, 2006
Student Edition of Modern Scientific Evidence
One perquisite of having a blog is self-promotion. In that spirit, the new student edition of our four volume treatise, Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony, is now available. The student edition is a two volume, and reorganized, version of the bigger set. One volume is dedicated to introductory subjects, including, among others, admissibility standards, research methods, statistics, toxicology and epidemiology. The other volume is dedicated to subjects in the forensic sciences, ranging from DNA to latent fingerprint identification. The announcement from Thomson/West Publishers follows:
West is pleased to announce the recent publication of Faigman, Kaye, Saks, Sanders and Cheng's Modern Scientific Evidence 2006 Student Editions: Standards, Statistics and Research Methods and Forensic Issues.
Judges and lawyers are not generally known for expertise in science and mathematics. Nor is science a subject given significant attention in American law schools. Times, however, are changing. An ever-increasing percentage of the average lawyer's caseload involves scientific and technical evidence. Indeed, it is the rare case that does not involve experts. Following the landmark case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., federal courts, and many state courts, mandate that trial court judges operate as gatekeepers in regard to expert evidence. The lawyers who practice before them will need to make the arguments for and against admission of disputed expertise. And if the disputed expert opinion is admitted, the lawyers must have the wherewithal to cross-examine that testimony. If lawyers are going to be prepared for the practice of law in the twenty-first century, they need to develop a basic understanding of statistics and science.
Standards, Statistics and Research Methods and Forensic Issues are special student editions of a much larger work intended for a professional audience, our four volume treatise MODERN SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE: THE LAW AND SCIENCE OF EXPERT TESTIMONY (2005). The student editions are available separately. Standards, Statistics and Research Methods focuses on standards, statistics and research issues surrounding expert evidence, and Forensic Issues is devoted to subjects in the forensic sciences. These volumes will be effective either standing alone or as companions to regular texts in a variety of classes. More fundamentally, we hope that these volumes will be used to begin the process of educating lawyers and judges regarding the scientific method in law school.
Science is a tool that the law can and must use to achieve its own objectives. Science cannot dictate what is fair and just. But science has become, and will forever more be, something upon which the law must sometimes rely to do justice.
September 26, 2006 | Permalink
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