The ASA’s Missed Opportunity to Promote Sound Science in Court
Sociological Methods & Research, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2011 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
Date Written: April 20, 2011
The American Sociological Association (“ASA”) filed an amicus brief in Wal-Mart v. Dukes in which the ASA defended the testimony of the plaintiffs’ sociological expert. Unfortunately, the ASA’s portrayal and defense of the method and opinions of this expert do not match the actual method used, and opinions offered, by the expert in the Wal-Mart case. We demonstrate that none of the ASA’s defenses of the expert’s method has merit and that the expert violated basic methodological rules set out by the ASA’s own sources. The opinions to which the expert testified, therefore, lacked a scientific foundation.
Keywords: experts, class certification, employment discrimination, social science and law
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