This Forensic Center Newsletter grew out of a project to stimulate interdisciplinary efforts and research that unite, explore, and advance knowledge in the broad areas of law, medicine, and forensic sciences. 

Most trial lawyers, legal scholars, forensic scientists, and students of the law know that legal proof has evolved into a multi-disciplinary mosaic of law, art, science, and technology. As a consequence of our modern age, in which increasing specialization is being held out as a desirable means of solving difficult problems, a recognition of the functions of scientific evidence and expert testimony has become indispensable in the trial of civil and criminal cases. 

The term "scientific evidence," in its broadest usage, covers a range of opinion testimony varying widely in probative value, weight, and persuasiveness. Some disciplines allow the formulation of an opinion with near-mathematical certainty; others are less precise and are intermixed with artful evaluation based upon a specialist's broad-based experience. The various sciences, disciplines, and techniques are allied, however, in at least one respect: their secrets are unlocked by specially trained experts. Data disclosed in the laboratory, testing facility, or work space often has no real meaning in law until presented to the trier of fact by an expert witness whose opinion can give meaning to the data that was examined. (The foregoing was adapted from the Preface of SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES, 4th ed., 1995, by Andre A. Moenssens, James E. Starrs, Carol E. Henderson, and Fred E. Inbau.) 

The Newsletter will be updated regularly as new items of general interest are developed.

Readers of this Newsletter are urged to contribute supplemental information, or correct what are perceived to be errors. Each contributor whose copy is published in these web pages will be acknowledged as the source, unless the contributor specifically asks not to be named. No anonymous contributions will be accepted. 

Address e-mail comments directly to: [email protected]

PLEASE NOTE: Forensic-Evidence, or its editor, cannot answer legal questions or provide investigate means to readers who desire to pursue specific legal problems. To deal with these issues, consult a licensed attorney in the state where you reside or where the problem exists.

Copyright @ 2003 Andre A. Moenssens / Forensic-Evidence.com • All rights reserved

This page was last modified on Dec. 21, 2000 


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