Science plays an ever increasing role in the courts, typified by everything from forensic evidence in criminal cases to global warming disputes in environmental cases to genome patent disputes in intellectual property cases to prescription drug defects in mass tort cases to adolescent brain development evidence in death penalty cases, and so forth. This seminar addresses the difficulties that courts encounter in dealing with scientific evidence and scientific concepts, both at the practical level and at the jurisprudential level. Examples will be drawn from recent cases and current controversies An important focus of the seminar will be on how judges, juries, and lawyers untrained in science can best handle scientific issues with which they are presented.
No course prerequisite or prior scientific knowledge is required.
Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all registered students and for wait-listed students who wish to be considered for admission to the seminar.