Saturday, October 23, 2004

How to Become a State Law Correspondent for Daubert on the Web

Fascinating though federal decisions construing Daubert may be, the majority of cases involving expert testimony are litigated in state court. So for several months, we have been trying to find correspondents to help in tracking state appellate decisions for our parent site, Daubert on the Web. After an initial flurry of volunteers in the spring, recruitment fell off a bit. But now an attorney from the Volunteer State has written offering help with Tennessee (we'll reveal his identity once we've finalized the details), and this has inspired us to renew our recruitment drive.

What's involved?

It needn't be much work. We need you to be an attorney who can track appellate decisions in your state -- as many of you probably already do -- and send us the news when an opinion is issued dealing with the admissibility of expert testimony. We can take it from there. We already have monitors for Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The remaining jurisdictions are up for grabs. (We've launched a few additional state pages on our own, starting at the beginning of the alphabet, but we'd be delighted if someone could share in the effort for Alaska, Arizona, or Arkansas, or for any other jurisdiction not listed above.)

Red States versus Blue States

If a note of competition will help spark recruitment, we'll mention that as of today, the Red States are ahead of the Blue States (as those terms were defined by Messrs. Bush and Gore, with help from the United States Supreme Court) by a raw score of 8-2, or an electoral vote advantage (based on 2004 apportionment) of 92-38.

Mars versus Venus

We must also make note of an alarming gender gap -- one not attributable, let it be emphasized, to any discriminatory animus. All ten existing state law correspondents are men. Surely there are potential women volunteers out there who could blaze a trail that their daughters might follow.

How to Sign Up

Interested in lending a hand? We can't talk it over unless you write to us.


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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.