20 April 2004

As a sideline to the kind of things covered in this blawg, I also try to keep track of developments in expert-opinion evidence. This is not, of course, limited to "traditional science"—valuation experts are critical to many kinds of cases, and seldom does one find a music copyright infringement case in which similarity is at issue that does not include several experts. Increasingly, too, experts are becoming necessary in the non-IP ancillary areas of publishing, such as determining the reasonable value of profits lost to a breach of a publishing contract. Conversely, there are a lot of experts out there whose opinions have been "valued" that should not be, particularly on generalized economic issues. (Sorry, guys, but economics does not have sufficient indications of widespread standardization for most of the "calculations" made in its name.)

In any event, rather than keeping all of that to myself, I'm going to contribute summaries of Illinois state-court decisions on expert opinion evidence (commonly called "expert witnesses"—but the witness is only half the battle) to Blog 702, the blawg part of Daubert on the Web, the small-firm litigator's best chance to avoid malpractice (not to mention serve his or her clients better). Many large-firm litigators and transactional lawyers should refer to it, too, if only to see what they're up against.