Science and Litigation: Products Liability in Theory and Practice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Science and Litigation

Products Liability in Theory and Practice, 1st Edition

By Terrence F. Kiely

CRC Press

480 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2002-04-29
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The question "what is science" has been one of the most vigorously contested legal questions as to what is legally acceptable scientific foundation for the submission of expert opinion in a wide variety of cases, especially in products liability cases. The answer usually lies in the outcomes of past cases as well as objective scientific literature. But how do we relate past decisions to biotechnology, bioinformatics, in-silico biology, genome mapping, and other new scientific developments? And just how valid are peer-reviewed studies when they are performed in house or funded by companies with a stake in the product?

Science and Litigation: Products Liability in Theory and Practice addresses these and many other questions involving the relationship between the physical and biological sciences and the civil justice system. First, it reviews scientific legal theory by highlighting landmark cases, analyzing the scientific peer-review process, and examining the relationship between scientific causal theory and legal causation rules. Then the book addresses the practical issues involved in prosecuting or defending the science-based case, from pretrial discovery to choosing an expert witness.

Products liability litigation can be a long and arduous task for everyone involved. This practical guide makes it a little easier. Taking you from research to courtroom, Science and Litigation: Products Liability in Theory and Practice provides information about the admissibility of scientific ideas and leads both expert witness and attorney through the necessary steps to be successful in litigation.

Table of Contents


Science in American Litigation: India Rubber to Bioinformatics

Science and the Legal Process

Science, Products Liability, and Commerce

Historical Notes on Science and Technology

19th Century Science and Patent Litigation

Science, Products Liability, and the Courts

Science and Products Liability

Science and the Civil Law

Forensic Evidence and the Criminal Law

Science and the United States Supreme Court

Kumho Tire and Beyond

Science and Peer Review


Peer Review of Peer Review

Peer Review and the Supreme Court

Appendix: The Peer Reviewers Review Peer Review

Science and Legal Causation

Introduction: A Primer on Proximate Cause

The Varieties of Cause: The Case of Dennis D.

The Language of Cause

Working Theories of Cause

Differential Diagnosis

Bellwether Cases and Inferential Statistics

Extrapolation Theory

The Parlodel Controversy


Science and Pre-Trial Research


Research Focal Points

Research Topical Checklist

Research In Depth

Research Points of Reference

Introduction to Detailed Research

Focal Points for State-of-the-Art Research

Information Sources

Science and Expert Witnesses


Determining Expert Witness Needs

Prioritizing Expert Witness Needs

Choosing the Expert: General Considerations

Choosing the Expert: Organizational Factors

Choosing the Expert: Individual Factors

Categories of Experts

Initial Utilization of the Expert

Science and Business Documentation


The Generation of Corporate Documents

Design Documentation

Testing Documentation

Production Documentation

Marketing Documentation

Regulatory Documentation

Organizational Documentation

Operational Documentation

Science and Pre-Trial Discovery


Discovery Planning


Requests for the Production of Documents


Focal Points for Organization and Analysis

Specialized Indexing and Cross-Referencing

Defense Objections to Discovery

The Motion to Compel Discovery

Appendix: Researching the Science Case


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)