In a world that grows more technologically complex every day and in which scientific research continually expands both our understanding of, and our questions about, the operation of the natural and man-made world, it is hardly surprising that science should show up with increasing frequency in our court-rooms. Science itself is sometimes at issue, for example, in proceedings on allegations of scientific misconduct or in disputes over the ownership or patentability of technologies. But more frequently, science enters in aid of resolving a case in which a complex question of causation is at issue. To establish or rebut causation, each side may seek to introduce evidence from expert witnesses. With crowded dockets, the simpler cases are more likely to settle, while more complex ones-especially class actions and mass tort suits-go to trial, which may explain why in some jurisdictions, experts take part in upwards of eighty percent of all trials.
Alexander M. Capron,
Daubert and the Quest for Value-Free "Scientific Knowledge" in the Courtroom,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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