Harnessing Expert Peer Review to Win: Building Upon the Silicone Implant Litigations


In analyzing issues of scientific integrity in the courtroom, it is important to keep in mind that almost everyone, attorneys and judges alike, agree that adversarial bias in expert testimony is the largest problem facing the system. Cross-examination of experts traditionally has been the check on this bias. However, given its zero-sum nature (i.e. both sides use it), judges and juries alike often get more confused after the dust has settled. In using neutral experts, problems abound in determining how experts are selected, what their roles are, and how parties can be effectively protected from their undue influence. Interestingly, these same issues, more or less, manifest already in science itself – and yet almost every scientific community has turned to and tuned the peer review process to inject scientific validity into the system. Now, it is time to do the same in the legal system, where to problem is further magnified by the adversarial process.