Bridging the gap between law and science

And the reason HMS exists …

By on Oct 30, 2013 |

Two days ago Judge Posner of the 7th Circuit (sometimes referred to as the “10th Justice” and portrayed by HMS partner Sean Marshall in a law school musical) issued an opinion available here that set forth the reasons HMS was formed and shows the advantages a firm such as HMS can bring to the table.

This lapse is worth noting because it is indicative of  a
widespread,  and  increasingly  troublesome,  discomfort
among lawyers and judges confronted by a scientific or oth‐
er technological issue. “As a general matter, lawyers and sci‐
ence don’t mix.” Peter Lee, “Patent Law and the Two Cul‐
tures,” 120 Yale L.J. 2, 4 (2010) … ; David L. Faigman, Legal Alchemy: The Use
and Misuse of Science in Law xi (1999) (“the average lawyer is
not merely ignorant of science, he or she has an affirmative 
aversion to it”).

The discomfort of the legal profession, including the ju‐
diciary, with science and technology is not a new phenome‐
non.  Innumerable  are  the  lawyers  who  explain  that  they
picked law over a technical field because they have a “math
block”—“law students as a group, seem peculiarly averse to
math and science.” David L. Faigman, et al., Modern Scientific
Evidence:  Standards,  Statistics,  and Research Methods  v (2008
student ed.). But it’s increasingly concerning, because of the
extraordinary rate of  scientific  and other technological  ad‐
vances that figure increasingly in litigation.

-Judge Richard Posner