Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Daubert and John Edwards

After his surprising second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, we knew it was only a matter of time before John Edwards's career as a litigator came in for fresh media scrutiny. But we thought it might take longer than one day. Via Walter Olson, we now learn that Edwards is already under attack for having relied, as a litigator, on what some critics are calling "junk science." The charge is that Edwards invoked expert testimony of debatable validity in malpractice actions he brought on behalf of children suffering from cerebral palsy.

If this becomes a central theme in the Democratic primaries, a grateful nation is certain to turn to our parent website for enlightenment. Are websites eligible for the Pulitzer?
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.