standards are not always congruent with court admissibility standards, but he felt that the experience had been useful in providing important information for the courts, establishing objective technical testing on a controversial issue, and in learning more about the intersection of the legal and scientific worlds.
He added that he did not consider himself to be a “hired gun” or a professional witness, having participated in just three trials and one arbi-tration in 30 years. He suggested a series of simple principles by which experts could both participate meaningfully in litigation and also main-tain their integrity:
Design and perform the work on your own professional and ethical terms
Publish all results in peer-reviewed journals, irrespective of the outcome
Strive for equal objectivity whether working for the plaintiff or the defendant.
Another participant underlined the importance of doing one’s best science for use in the courtroom. One reason is that cross-examination will tend to expose any weaknesses in methodology or conclusions. Another reason, of more general consequence, is that the effects of litigation may go beyond the finding of facts in specific cases to ultimately influence public policy. Although the criteria required for regulation are often more demanding than those required for admissibility of evidence, the public discussion of issues during litigation may prompt more extensive investigation by researchers.