Jason T. Seay Published in OBA Journal

11.20.17

Should ‘Junk Science’ Have a Place in Agency Decision Making?

History is littered with scientific debate regarding what exists and how things interact with each other. The intersection between that debate and the law presents some of the most difficult and important, yet routine, questions lawyers may face. Science is no “truth machine.” What is scientifically sound may not be legally sound, and vice versa, because “[s]cientific conclusions are subject to perpetual revision. Law, on the other hand, must resolve disputes finally and quickly.”1Although scientific understanding of phenomena is constantly evolving, the legal analysis for determining the admissibility of scientific evidence in court is well known to most lawyers. Yet, an open question remains as to whether the legal framework for determining the admissibility of scientific or technical evidence should apply to state agencies acting in a judicial capacity. Should “junk science” have a place in hearings before Oklahoma agencies, but not in Oklahoma trial courts? 

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1. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 597 (1993). 

 

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Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca represents clients primarily in labor and employment litigation and counsels clients regarding everyday employment matters. 

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