Evaluating Scientific Evidence and Considering When - If Ever - Judges Can Ethically Get It For Themselves
In our technological society, both the advances in science and our ability to learn about them have never been greater. For the judge, however, these advances present special challenges. First, as science and technology advance, the pressures on judges to stay current with this progress can be great and daunting. The challenges here range from simply understanding the basis for new and newfangled subjects of expert testimony to when new advances (or our understanding of those subjects) overturn what was once thought to be settled expertise. Second, and at the same time, the internet has given judges an immediately available encyclopedia of information regarding just about any subject that might come before them. In theory, then, judges should be able to remain current regarding advances in whatever subjects come before them simply by accessing internet resources. But can judges do so ethically?
Dean David Faigman will offer guidance on how judges can best maneuver through this technological revolution. In particular, he will discuss how courts should best integrate changing scientific knowledge into their decision making. In addition, he will examine where the ethical line is situated that separates proper from improper independent judicial research regarding matters that are currently before the court.
After this presentation, the judge participant will be able to:
o Evaluate the level of science knowledge necessary for the judicial gatekeeping function;
o Analyze the ethical boundaries of independent research related to scientific evidence; and
o Understand the judge's responsibility as a "gatekeeper" for evaluating changing scientific evidence.
2018-02-26 1:00 PM - 2018-02-28 2:00 PM