Saturday, September 04, 2004

Daubert Sonnet of the Week

The right thing is to let the expert write the report himself. But sometimes the voice of temptation does creep in . . .
My expert wants to write his own report.
He thinks he knows exactly what to say
To stave off every possible retort.
It’s true he has a fancy resume
And quite bestrides his world of academe,
Much held in awe by friend and foe alike.
But I do fear that if he sets the theme,
The other side will promptly move to strike.
Of course, I know they’ll do that anyway,
But we might have a chance, if I could pen
The testimony that could save the day.
Why be content with dreams that might have been?
It’s sauve qui peut, in this economy.
I pay this guy. Screw his autonomy.
Update 9/6/04: As readers of Overlawyered and Point of Law were already aware, Ted Frank is an accomplished craftsman of thoughtful prose. But who knew he could also rhyme and scan? Check the comments to this post to hear the voice of conscience wax poetic.

Update 9/29/04: Sadly, we lost what is believed to be Ted Frank's collected poetic oeuvre on Daubert when we went over to the new format today. Perhaps he still has a copy and will post it again. Or perhaps he'll pen another.

Update 9/30/04: Ted Frank's poem was picked up at The Witness Box, and so we've been able to re-post it. See the comments.


Anonymous writes ...

I think I shall never see
An expert report penned by me.
For if he should admit on cross
That his words were viewed as dross,
Toss'd aside for those of mine,
Loudly parroted line for line,
What'd be left of his credibility?
"A mouthpiece of slim ability!
A dummy! A quack! A for-pay leech!"
So opposing counsel would impeach.
It may be hard, it may be tough,
But I cannot stress enough,
Pay a fellow who can think and write
To ably win the expert fight.

-- Ted Frank

9:59 AM  

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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.