Law and Social Science - Professor Poteet


Course Title

Law and Social Science


Professor Poteet

First Assignment

TWEN:  Make sure you are signed up for the TWEN course site.

Syllabus:  Available on TWEN

Textbook:  There is no required textbook to purchase.  All readings will be articles, book chapters, and cases which will be made available on the TWEN course for this class.

Assignment for the first class on Wednesday, August 26:

Topics:  Introduction to Uses of Social Science in Law

              Evidentiary rules on admissibility of scientific evidence

Below are the two topics for the first week and reading assignments for each (the reading is not as lengthy as it looks).  The readings materials are all on TWEN.

1)    How is social science used in the law, and what are the issues/concerns with using social science to help decide legal cases?

Herzberger, “Social Science Contributions to the Law,” 25 Connecticut Law Review 1067 (1993).  Examine the similarities and differences between scientific methods and legal reasoning, and the various ways in which social science is used to contribute to the law. 

“Courts need help when it comes to science and tech” by Jason Tashea, Nov. 2, 2017, ABA Journal

2)  Explore the evidentiary rules on expert scientific testimony with the following readings and videos:

Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923)

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993)

Kumho Tire v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999)

General Electric v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997) - syllabus only

Federal Rule of Evidence, 2015 edition, FRE 702, pp. 117-124
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Summary (  (5:06 minutes)
Daubert:  A Two-Edged Sword    (23 minutes)


I look forward to meeting all of you at our first class!