Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Economists as Expert Witnesses

Courts now rely far more on economic analysis, with its apparent precision, to reach decisions. As a result, big companies in legal disputes race to enlist top economists on their side, paying top dollar in an arms race for talent.

Cases that might have been expert-free 30 years ago now involve as many as eight experts, four on each side, says Russell Frackman, an intellectual-property lawyer at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp in Los Angeles. Economists are part of each side's roster; so are specialists in a myriad of other fields. "Even if you don't think the other side's expert will have much influence," says Mr. Frackman, "you don't want the jury to wonder why you couldn't find another expert to offset him or her."
An Economist's Courtroom Bonanza