Thursday, May 5, 2011
The "Hired Gun"
"It is certainly true that the testimony of a "hired gun"--or, as some courts put it, an expert who is "available to the highest bidder"-is not "scientific knowledge" and therefore should be inadmissible under Daubert. Given the frequency (and vehemence) with which this danger is invoked, especially in the popular press, one might expect it to be a frequent focus of the courts. In fact, though, courts are seldom concerned about this issue, presumably because, as Daubert II recognized, "few experts appear in court merely as an eleemosynary gesture." One cannot use the mere fact that an expert is paid by his client as a basis for inferring that his testimony is biased; one must look more carefully at the expert's testimony to determine if it is biased, and once one makes that further inquiry, one is not relying on the premise that the expert is a "hired gun." - From Conflicts of Interest in Scientific Expert Testimony by Mark R. Patterson