How Credible is an Expert Witness?

expert credibility and jargon

If you’ve been litigating for any amount of significant time, you probably know this feeling: you and your team have prepared your arguments, worked with witnesses and reviewed evidence, and spent enough time internally going over the merits of your case, that you’re near sure you have a bulletproof case. Only to find that it all goes down in flames at summary judgment or in front of a jury. 

Obviously, the earlier you can determine that an expert witness will not be accepted as credible by a judge, the more opportunity you will have to readjust your strategy towards a more credible approach.

Initial Effort Shows Less Than Half of Psychological Studies are Reproducible

Peer Review, Scientific Evidence, Daubert, Frye, Reproducibility, General Acceptance

This past summer, the Open Science Collaboration published a piece in Science detailing their efforts to reproduce key findings in articles derived from three top journals in psychology. They were able to replicate less than half of the 100 studies that were completed (roughly 40%). Justice demands certainty; now, psychology (and likely many other fields) provides even less than once was thought. Some might be tempted go as far as to dismiss science altogether as a “special” category of evidence. This reasoning belies an important fact – the vast majority of science is reproducible. Expressing surprise that new studies cannot be reproduced can be likened, in some sense, to expressing surprise that cases of first impression are sometimes overturned.