CPR Archive for Carl Cranor

Milward v. Acuity Specialty Products: How the First Circuit Opened Courthouse Doors for Wronged Parties to Present Wider Range of Scientific Evidence

by Carl Cranor | July 25, 2011

In Daubert v. Merrell-Dow Pharmaceutical,  General Electric. v. Joiner, and Kumho Tire v. Carmichael the U.S. Supreme Court sought to bring principles for reviewing expert testimony in line with the Federal Rules of Evidence. The opinions sought  to ensure that legal arguments would better comport with the pertinent science needed for the legal cases at issue. To achieve this goal the court gave trial judges a greter duty to review expert testimony for relevance and reliability before plaintiffs could bring their case to a jury. Despite these goals, lower courts have struggled with reviewing scientific testimony and evidence. Some courts so restricted expert testimony and its scientific foundation that scientists found it difficult to present basic scientific evidence about the toxicity of chemicals in a courtroom.

An outstanding decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals this March in Milward v. Acuity Specialty Products (639 F.3d 11 (2011)) contravened numerous mistaken views about scientific methodology, evidence evalualtion and constraints on testimony that had emerged from defendants’ presentations and other courts over time. This decision is precedent for courts in the First Circuit and stands as an example of an excellent analysis of scientific testimony and the role of trial courts for other appellate jurisdictions. As one who had argued in the scholarly literature for the conclusions the court adopted and who served as the scientific methodology expert in this case, it is especially encouraging to see this change ...

How to Diss A Book Without Reading It

by Carl Cranor | July 19, 2011
When you write a book, particularly one that has something to do with matters political, you have to expect criticism. So when I wrote Legally Poisoned: How the Law Puts Us at Risk from Toxicants (Harvard, 2011), I fully expected it to take a shot or two – not just from some of my colleagues in academia, but also from allies of the chemical industry. In fact, since this book isn’t exactly my first rodeo, I’ve grown accustomed to reviewers ...

Also from Carl Cranor

Carl F. Cranor is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside and a participating faculty member in Environmental Toxicology. 

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