CLE Program: Scientific Expertise in the Courtroom

Thursday, March 29, 2018
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Testimony by scientific experts plays a key role in criminal and civil cases throughout the U.S. Yet it is an area that is continually evolving as cutting-edge scientific procedures are developed and new ethical questions are raised.

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and the Science History Institute bring together top scholars and experienced practitioners in evidence, psychology, economics and ethics to tackle some of the field’s most pressing issues in a symposium entitled “Scientific Expertise in the Courtroom.” Topics of discussion include the crisis in forensic science; the standards for admissibility of expert testimony, including statistical estimation evidence; the problem of bias in expertise; the ethical dilemmas of attorneys drafting expert reports; and the ethical challenges when consulting experts become testifying experts.

The event takes place on Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Science History Institute (315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia). The program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education board for 2 substantive CLE credits and 1 ethics CLE credit. 

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Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9 a.m.: Registration and Coffee

9 – 9:10 a.m.: Welcome Remarks

9:10 – 10:30 a.m.: Issues of Forensic Science in the Criminal Context

Jules Epstein, Director of Advocacy Programs, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Jennifer Gentile LongCEO, AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence against Women
Kevin Todorow, JD Candidate, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Moderated by David S. Caudill, Professor of Law and Arthur M. Goldberg Family Chair, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

10:30 – 10:40 a.m.: Break

10:40 – 11:30 a.m.: Statistical Estimation Evidence in Toxic Tort Cases, and the Impact of Human Psychology in Criminal Cases

Jonah Gelbach, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Adam Benforado, Professor, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Moderated by Jody A. Roberts, Director of Institute for Research, Science History Institute

11:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.: Break

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Examining the Practical and Ethical Issues of Expert Testimony

Stephen G. Harvey, Steve Harvey Law LLC
David S. CaudillProfessor of Law and Arthur M. Goldberg Family Chair, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Moderated by Shea M. Rhodes, Director, Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation