However, many of the judges surveyed lacked the scientific literacy seemingly necessitated by Daubert... Although most judges agreed that a distinction could be made between “scientific” and “technical or otherwise specialized” knowledge, the ability to apply the Daubert guidelines appeared to have little bearing on whether specific types of expert evidence were designated as “science” or “nonscience.” Moreover, judges’ “bench philosophy of science” seemed to reflect the rhetoric, rather than the substance, of Daubert...According to the article, only about 5% of judges understand the basic legal issues that are necessary to judge the admissibility of expert evidence. I guess that the concepts are not taught in law school, or in the seminars for new judges.
(Sophia I. Gatowski, Shirley A. Dobbin, James T. Richardson, Gerald P. Ginsburg, Mara L. Merlino, Veronica Dahir. Asking the Gatekeepers: A National Survey of Judges on Judging Expert Evidence in a Post-Daubert World Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 25, No. 5 (Oct., 2001), pp. 433–458)
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Judges misunderstand expert evidence
This article, as quoted here, shows that judges have a lot of trouble with basic concepts behind expert testimony: