Friday, February 25, 2011

More on Historians as Expert Witnesses

Following on the heels of Tomiko's thoughtful post on historians' engagement in public life ("Say Something Historical!"), I noticed this plea for information about historians serving as expert witnesses. It comes from Bill Childs (Western New England School of Law), over at TortsProf Blog:

I've written, both here and in more formal settings, a bit about historians serving as expert witnesses in litigation -- mostly in the setting of toxic torts. This year, I'm starting a long-term project examining the broader role of historians in all sorts of litigation settings. The first step will be an attempt to catalog in wiki form -- as exhaustively as possible -- all of the instances of historians serving as expert witnesses.

The wiki will not immediately be public; I want to get it started and figure out the standardization before opening it up to others. But it will be made public sometime relatively early in the process. I expect it to include both information about experts (and the litigation in which they have participated) and original documents -- expert reports, briefing, judicial orders and opinions, and so on.

And so, I turn to you, our readers. If you have anything relating to historians serving in litigation settings -- in any context -- please send it to me. I'm looking broadly, so if it's someone who is opining in the context of history even though the expert's field is formally something else, send it. I figure more is better than less at this point.

Professor Childs' contact information is here.

2 comments:

Shag from Brookline said...

While the historian is not a scientist, perhaps some thought might be given to Daubert standards for scientific expert witnesses.

Shag from Brookline said...

Might this project address briefs of historians in cases before the Supreme Court? I'm thinking in particular of such briefs filed in the Heller and McDonald Second Amendment cases.