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View Diary: McCollum paid $60,000 to customer (256 comments)

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  •  No... you're not the only one (24+ / 0-)

    It is a little creepy.  What bothers me is that buying expert testimony is a form of marketing - paying money to make the facts fit the preconceived perspective.  I remember reading in 2001 that GWB was the first MBA president, and I remember thinking, he and the culture that went along with him represented the primacy of marketing over substance. That had been accelerating since the Contract on America, but it really came to fruition in 2000.  And now we are living with the consequences, in terms of the erosion of our actual culture of truth and reality.

    So yes, paying $60K for a witness is bad.  What is even worse is that opinions and prejudices are marketed to us as fact, and our society is less aware and prepared to separate out the two.

    We have "experts" paid to deny same-sex couples the chance to adopt, experts who create alternative fantasy explanations of climate change, who pander to our prejudices and wishful thinking and fear.  We have experts working for BP and getting interviewed as if they are neutral.  

    And we drift farther and farther from the idea of verifiable fact, farther from the healthy self-correction of science, farther from rational critical thinking.  Marketing, including expert witnesses like Reker, have made us all stupider as people and worse as a nation.

    "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

    by ivorybill on Fri May 07, 2010 at 06:26:21 AM PDT

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    •  Amen to all of that. nt (4+ / 0-)

      I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows. --Susan B. Anthony

      by ohiolibrarian on Fri May 07, 2010 at 07:49:44 AM PDT

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    •  There are specific rules in law (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight

      pertaining to expert witnesses, and it is at all times known who called the expert. They can be questioned on their qualifications before they testify. They can only speak from their knowledge and have to state their opinion as opinion. They can and almost always are cross examined by the opposing lawyer.

      You have to have expert witnesses in a lot of cases. They are needed to advise on a person's mental state if there is a question of a defense on that basis — or do you think a judge or jury can decide that from seeing a defendant in court for a few hours?

      Experts are required in all malpractice cases and many other types of cases. The justice system couldn't get along without them.

      All are subject to questioning as to their qualifications and everything they say. They can not give an opinion as to the final issue of law.

      And as you saw here, the judge can throw out the testimony of any expert s/he wants.

      Yes there can be hired guns and biased experts; it's the attorney's job to show that.

      "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - Rabbi Tarfon

      by samddobermann on Fri May 07, 2010 at 02:32:53 PM PDT

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