Experts in Court: Reconciling Law, Science, and Professional Knowledge
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
Experts in Court examines the use of expert testimony across the legal system, including the unique issues faced by mental health professionals when they are called upon to serve as expert witnesses. Lawyers and judges often fear that mental health professionals' testimony is purely experiential and not based on objective criteria or a demonstrable scientific foundation.
Through the use of ground-breaking court rulings, Sales and Shuman explain the scrutiny that psychologists will need to use to survive admissibility determinations under new and evolving rules of evidence. Their skillful and detailed analysis of these rulings show how the standards of admissibility for expert testimony have changed and how they have altered the relationships among judges, juries, experts, and lawyers.
The book carefully reveals the evolution of laws regarding evidence admissibility, the requirements established by specific court rulings for scientific and non-scientific expert testimony, and the new rules for the submission of psychological expertise in court. It also explains how the law can use experts more effectively and how their behavior serves or complicates the goals of the rules of evidence. Finally, the authors propose a research agenda, designed to foster a better understanding of the attitudes and practices of trial courts concerning rules of evidence and expert testimony.
- Introduction: Why Expert Witnesses?
- Goals for the Rules of Evidence
- Admitting Expert Testimony: Evolution and Interpretation
- Problems in Implementing the Goals for the Rules of Evidence
- Reconciling the Law of Admissibility of Expert Testimony With the Goals for the Rules of Evidence
- Reconciling the Behavior of Experts With the Goals for the Rules of Evidence
- Epilogue: Looking to the Future
Table of Authority
About the Authors
Bruce D. Sales, PhD, JD, is a professor of psychology, sociology, psychiatry, and law at the University of Arizona, where he is also director of its Psychology, Policy, and Law Program.
Among his other works are: More Than the Law: Behavioral and Social Facts in Legal Decision Making (with P. English; in press); Laws Affecting Clinical Practice (with M. Miller & S. Hall; in press); Courtroom Modifications for Child Witnesses: Forensic Evaluation (with S. Hall; in press); Family Mediation: Facts, Myths, and Future Prospects (with C. Beck); Treating Adult and Juvenile Offenders With Special Needs (coedited with J. Ashford & W. Reid); Ethics in Research With Human Participants (coedited with Susan Folkman); Law, Mental Health, and Mental Disorder (coedited with D. Shuman); and Mental Health and Law: Research, Policy, and Services (coedited with S. Shah).
Professor Sales, the first editor of the journals Law and Human Behavior and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, is a fellow of APA and the American Psychological Society, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and recipient of the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service from APA, the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and Law from the American Psychology–Law Society, and an honorary doctor of science degree from the City University of New York for being the "founding father of forensic psychology as an academic discipline."
Daniel W. Shuman, JD, is a professor of law at Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He received his JD in 1972 from the University of Arizona.
His other works include Psychiatric and Psychological Evidence (winner of the American Psychiatric Association's Manfred S. Guttmacher Award in 1988); Conducting Insanity Defense Evaluations (with R. Rogers); Predicting the Past: The Retrospective Assessment of Mental States in Civil and Criminal Litigation (coedited with R. Simon); Justice and the Prosecution of Old Crimes: Balancing Legal, Psychological, and Moral Considerations (with A. McCall Smith); The Psychotherapist–Patient Privilege: A Critical Examination (with M. Weiner); Law and Mental Heath Professionals: Texas; Doing Legal Research: A Guide for Social Scientists and Mental Health Professionals (with R. Morris and B. Sales); and Law, Mental Health, and Mental Disorder (coedited with B. Sales). He has also authored more than 70 articles and book chapters.
He is a member of the American Law Institute and former chair of the Association of American Law Schools sections on Law and Mental Disability and Law and Medicine. His main areas of interest are in the field of law and mental health.