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June 30, 2004

More on Chein v. Shumsky

We wondered aloud in our Monday post whether there were multiple Southern California doctors with the name of Edmund Y. Chein (whose conviction for perjury in expert witness testimony the Ninth Circuit just overturned). Reader Joe Zwers advises that "the Medical Board lists only one such person" and that his licensing and disciplinary record is here. Eric Rasmusen of Indiana University comments on the case here, though we think Rasmusen is barking up an entirely mistaken tree when he suggests that the split between majority and dissenting judges can somehow be ascribed to the kind of law they practiced before reaching the bench. So far as we can see, the backgrounds of the judges on each side of the case look very similar (a lot of big corporate firm practice, some prosecution) with only one or two exceptions.

Writes another reader, who asks for anonymity because he practices often before the court in question: "I was frankly a little surprised at the decision. Not so much that the Ninth Circuit granted habeas relief. But it seemed a little peculiar for them to write two inaugural paragraphs on the special entitlement of experts, as a class, to engage in truth-stretching under oath." The two inaugural paragraphs in question are reprinted as part of Peter Nordberg's post on the case. And in a more recent posting, Nordberg points to a case in which a "man who allegedly falsified his credentials to testify as an expert witness on electrical engineering matters in a Bronx civil suit has been charged with grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing." Michael Newman, 67, of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., had allegedly misdescribed himself as a licensed professional engineer; he was hired by counsel representing the New York City Housing Authority as defendants in a now-settled lawsuit. (Cerisse Anderson, "Expert Witness? Not Really", New York Law Journal/New York Lawyer, Jun. 29). (Misspelling corrected 6/30).

Posted by Walter Olson at 12:44 PM | TrackBack (0)

Scientific Evidence



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