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This issue offers articles by scientific experts providing knowledge to judges and lawyers. The authors are fulfilling their roles as experts and educators by offering us tools to help us fulfill ours.
Measured results must be accompanied by quantitative measures of their margin of error—their uncertainty—to be admissible. Otherwise evidence is divested of the fact-finding power of science and undermines confidence in verdicts based upon it.
A medical forensic sexual assault examination and testimony of a trained sexual assault nurse examiner can provide useful evidence. The law limits, however, the scope of the testimony and what the examination findings can actually prove.
Controversy surrounds the admissibility of evidence of parental alienation in both civil and criminal court cases. The following two articles in this issue present diametrically opposed positions.
In 30 years, no test, data, experiment, or other credible scientific evidence has supported parental alienation syndrome. This lack of scientific credibility has led many scientific, medical, and legal organizations to continue to reject its use.
It is incorrect to dismiss PA by calling it junk science or lacking in empirical evidence. PA allegations should be considered in enough detail to sort out the truth, half-truths, and non-truths. Given the complexity of family life, there are no easy answers.
A National Academy of Sciences report and subsequent studies indicate that forensic science professionals have yet to establish the validity of their approach or the accuracy of their conclusions and that courts have failed to come to grips with those failures.
A properly trained forensic document examiner has the training and methodology to provide reliable information to the trier of fact. Judges have the duty to filter out misinformation or partial truths offered by unqualified “experts” or “critics.”
This article provides an overview of valuable Web-based information on scientific evidence that the legal profession needs and the criminal and civil justice systems require for justice to be served in today’s science- and technology-driven climate.
Paulette Brown is the first woman of color to assume the ABA presidency. "I have to be the very best that I can be to set an example for those younger than I so that they will understand the possibilities," she declares. "I challenge up-and-coming attorneys to do the same."
The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services has generated much discussion about ways to address the huge market of unmet legal needs. This column explores some technology possibilities for consideration by the Commission.
Judges are impartial arbiters of fact, relying on presentations in court for their education about facts to be proven. At what point is science best presented in court through experts and not directly to judges through professional education?