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May 15, 2008

QotD: Expert Witnesses

Lawyers and scientists have completely different ways of discovering truth. The lawyers’ way is dueling witnesses. This is as good as any in determining which of two people is lying about a police shootout. It is no good in determining whether a hair sample matches that of the murder defendant or whether Vioxx caused a heart attack. Do heavy objects fall faster than light ones? Scientists answer with an experiment. A court would answer by having the jury hear from two experts, one saying yes, the other saying no. It would make as much sense to have the jury watch a medieval jousting contest between the two witnesses.

William Baldwin, "An Expert? Prove It", Forbes, 2008-06-02

Posted by Nicholas at May 15, 2008 08:45 AM

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