John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, and Associate Dean, UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy
SPECIAL THANKS TO
YES, VIRGINIA, LITIGATORS ARE AMATEUR SCIENTISTS
This lecture will consider one of the principal challenges of being a lawyer in the twenty-first century: The need to understand the basic scientific methods of the Seventeenth Century. Under both the Federal Rules of Evidence (Rule 702 and Daubert) and, increasingly under the California Evidence Code (Rules 801, 802 and Sargon), lawyers are required to understand the fundamentals of hypothesis testing, which includes at least a rudimentary understanding of research methods and statistics. Although this Lecture will not include a presentation on the scientific method, it will identify and discuss the many contexts in which such knowledge is (or should be) necessary in the day-to-day practice of law. These include both civil and criminal contexts, ranging from toxic torts to forensic identification testimony.
David L. Faigman is the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings and a Professor in the School of Medicine at UCSF. He received his M.A. (Psychology) and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous articles and essays. He has authored three books, Constitutional Fictions: A Unified Theory of Constitutional Facts (2008), Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court’s 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and the Law (2004) and Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law (1999). In addition, Professor Faigman is a co-author/co-editor of the five-volume treatise Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (with Blumenthal, Cheng, Mnookin, Murphy & Sanders) (Thomson Reuters/Westlaw). Professor Faigman was a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel that investigated the scientific validity of polygraphs and he is a member of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Network.