This course will examine the use of social science based evidence in legal proceedings. The course will start with a brief consideration of the relevant rules of evidence including the Daubert decision regarding expert testimony. Several weeks will be devoted to social science methods and core concepts of statistics. The balance of the course will consider some specific areas where social science evidence has been particularly important. Students will prepare briefs summarizing relevant social science evidence and present oral arguments on a topic of their choice; some possible topics include future dangerousness, domestic violence, racial profiling, work place discrimination, discriminatory jury selection, discriminatory sentencing, deterrence, trademark dilution, eyewitness identification, jury selection, judicial bias related to campaign fundraising. In addition to preparing briefs and presenting oral arguments, members of the class will play the roles of members of the three-judge appellate court hearing the oral argument and questioning counsel.
Social Science Evidence – 6813