The Forensic Community Can Educate Lawyers, Judges
14 Forensic Magazine, On-Line, June 23, 2017
11 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 23, 2017
Forensic science has made significant strides in elevating the standards for forensic analysis, reporting and testimony over the last few years. Yet, lawyers and judges lag far behind in understanding the significance of these strides. There is an attempt to educate law students in the law schools and to educate lawyers and judges through continuing legal and judicial education but it is slow in finding its way into the actual courtroom. Therefore, while there is progress at the highest levels of forensic science, a lot of "junk" science competes for the attention of jurors.
Forensic scientists can help educate the lawyers and judges on a case by case basis. They can not only educate, as they routinely do, on the substance of their opinions, they can also educate on the scientific foundation for those opinions in accordance with Daubert, Kumho Tire and related modern rules. By doing so, they can help establish the grounds for their testimony but can also set the bar for the admissibility of the other "expert" testimony in the case. To do this, the article suggests a modest checklist of factors under Daubert and Kumho Tire as well as suggested by the National Academy of Sciences 2009 Report, NIST and DOJ standards and the PCAST Report.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation