Faigman, David L(aurence)
FAIGMAN, David L(aurence)
PERSONAL: Born in Yonkers, NY. Education: State University of New York, College at Oswego, B.A., 1979; University of Virginia, M.A., 1983, J.D., 1986. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, cooking, movies, sports.
CAREER: Educator. United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Austin, TX, judicial clerkship, 1986-87; University of California at San Francisco, Hastings College of the Law, assistant professor, 1987-90, associate professor, 1990-93, professor of law, 1993—, Harry H. and Lillian H. Hastings research chair, 1997-98. Visiting professor at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1992, Université D'Aix-Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, France, 1995, Universita Degli Studi di Trento, Trento, Italy, 1995 and 1998, and Universita Degli Studi di Allassandria, Allassandria, Italy, 2000.
MEMBER: National Academy of Sciences (member of committee to review scientific evidence on the polygraph, 2001—).
AWARDS, HONORS: Roger and Madeline Traynor Prize, University of Virginia, School of Law, 1986, for best written work by a graduating student.
Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in theLaw, W. H. Freeman (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with David H. Kaye, Michael J. Saks, and Joseph Sanders) Science in the Law: Standards, Statistics and Research Issues, West Group (St. Paul, MN), 2002.
(Editor, with David H. Kaye, Michael J. Saks, and Joseph Sanders) Science in the Law: Social and Behavioral Science Issues, West Group (St. Paul, MN), 2002.
(Editor, with David H. Kaye, Michael J. Saks, and Joseph Sanders) Science in the Law: Forensic Science Issues, West Group (St. Paul, MN), 2002.
The Evidence Map, West Group (St. Paul, MN), 2003.
Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court's 200-YearStruggle to Integrate Science and the Law, Holt (New York, NY), 2004.
Member of editorial review board, Law and Human Behavior, Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law, 2000—, and Journal of Legal Education, 2001—; member of advisory board, Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2002—.
Contributor to books, including Representing . . . Battered Women Who Kill, edited by S. L. Johann and F. Osanka, 1989, and Wiley Expert Witness Update: New Developments in Personal Injury Litigation, edited by Eric Pierson, 1999. Contributor to scholarly journals, including Science, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Arizona Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, and Virginia Law Review.
SIDELIGHTS: David L. Faigman publishes widely in the topics of constitutional law and evidence, and is the author of two well-regarded books, Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law and Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court's 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and the Law.
Legal Alchemy is "a convincing and highly entertaining picture of both the pitfalls and promise that science brings to law," wrote Wendy E. Wagner in Quarterly Review of Biology. In the work, Faigman describes how the American legal system integrates scientific findings into courtroom decisions. He examines the Scopes "Monkey" trial, the Dow Corning silicone breast implant cases, and the O. J. Simpson trial, among others. Faigman also looks at the ways Congress uses scientific knowledge to determine policy about the environment, public safety, and government research projects. In Legal Alchemy, Faigman asserts that judges, jury members, and policy makers lack the scientific literacy needed to make sound decisions. "This book is a hybrid: part law school textbook of a most readable type, part personal editorial on how courts and Congress have, for the most part, failed on science and technical issues," observed Michael B. Getty in Judicature. "Faigman makes the simple point that all branches of government must become more sophisticated consumers of science," noted Patrick A. Malone in Issues in Science and Technology. "Amateur scientists are not needed, but judges, lawyers, legislators, and government bureaucrats who can read a scientific paper and spot its hidden biases and shaky methodologies would certainly be welcome."
In Laboratory of Justice, Faigman "examines the intersection of law and science in the constitutional rulings of the Supreme Court," stated a critic in Publishers Weekly. Using a wide range of cases, Faigman looks at how U.S. Supreme Court justices incorporate scientific findings into their decisions, and how the justices have set legal precedents based on the science of the day. Faigman argues, however, that the "law's admission of and reliance on science—especially statistics, that most empirical of disciplines is sometimes a source of conflict," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic. According to Seth Stern, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Faigman "sets out to chart how poorly the U.S. Supreme Court has struggled to integrate science and the law. The nation's highest court, he charges, is at best uncomfortable and at worst 'slap dash sloppy' in its dealings with science." Among the cases discussed are the 1857 Dred Scott decision that affirmed slavery based on "scientific" knowledge of racial differences; the landmark 1954 school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, that relied on data showing that separate schools harmed African-American children; and the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that gave women the right to choose an abortion. In Booklist, Vanessa Bush called Laboratory of Justice an "absorbing, highly accessible look at American law and how interpretations of the Constitution are grounded in the knowledge of the time."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Scientist, January, 2000, Robert D. Athey, Jr., "Lawyerly Lesson for Scientists Who Find Themselves before a Different Bench," p. 81.
Booklist, June 1, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court's 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and Law, p. 1675.
Boston Book Review, January-February, 2000, review of Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law.
Christian Science Monitor, September 30, 1999, Geraldine A. Lewis, "Judges under the Microscope," p. 20; June 15, 2004, Seth Stern, "With Science, Justice Is Blind and Ignorant."
Isis, June, 2001, Sheila Jasanoff, review of LegalAlchemy, p. 378.
Issues in Science and Technology, summer, 2000, Patrick A. Malone, review of Legal Alchemy, p. 83.
Judicature, July-August, 1998, John W. Strong, review of Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony, pp. 39-40; November-December, 1999, Michael B. Getty, "Insecurity with Science."
Judimetrics, spring, 1998, review of Modern ScientificEvidence.
Legal Affairs, November-December, 2004, Daniel Kevles, review of Laboratory of Justice.
Library Journal, June 1, 2004, Steven Puro, review of Laboratory of Justice, p. 155.
National Law Journal, December 20, 1999, review of Legal Alchemy.
Publishers Weekly, April 19, 2004, review of Laboratory of Justice, pp. 47-48.
Quarterly Review of Biology, March, 2001, Wendy E. Wagner, review of Legal Alchemy, p. 68.
Science, October 15, 2004, BettyAnn Holtzmann Kevles, review of Laboratory of Justice.
Washington Post Book World, February 20, 2000, review of Legal Alchemy.
Court TV Online,http://www.courttv.com/ (October 22, 2004), "CourtTV Online Transcripts: David Faigman."
Hastings College of the Law Web site,http://www.uchastings.edu/ (October 22, 2004), "David L. Faigman."