Court Appointed Scientific Experts (CASE)

CASE is a service that assists federal, state judges, and administrative law judges in identifying highly qualified scientists, engineers, and healthcare professionals to serve as technical experts. Originally conceived as a demonstration project, and limited to federal district judges, the project accepted its first requests from judges in February 2001. Click here to learn about how CASE has helped judges so far.

Given the success of the project, in September 2004 it was expanded to include state trial courts and administrative law courts. CASE staff selects experts on a case-by-case basis, tailoring the search to the specific request for assistance. Project staff use several methods and resources to identify suitable experts, including professional societies and other scientific institutions, and a Recruitment and Screening Panel, composed of highly-respected scientists, engineers, and health care professionals.

CASE-referred experts are not expected to serve pro bono; each expert’s fee is determined between the expert and the judge, although AAAS will assist in the process. During the demonstration period, CASE services were free of charge. However, with the expansion in scope of the project, CASE is transitioning to a fee-for-service model. For more information about the fee, payment schedules and covered services, contact Deborah Runkle.

During the demonstration project, an advisory committee provided guidance on all aspects of the project. Two subcommittees helped prepare educational and resource materials for the courts and for those who serve as experts, and also advised on such matters as conflicts of interest and how to screen for them.

The project has received favorable attention from a number of sources in academia and in public life. For example, in an address to the 1998 AAAS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, The Interdependence of Science and Law, Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, endorsed the project. As part of its National Science Policy Study, the House Science Committee also endorsed the project in its report, Unlocking Our Future: Toward a New National Science Policy. As part of the Committee’s deliberations, it heard testimony from AAAS on The Role of Science in Making Good Decisions.

Original funding for this project came from the Lelan Fikes Foundation and the Open Society Institute

Staff

The project is staffed by Deborah Runkle, Project Manager.

Contact

Deborah Runkle
drunkle@aaas.org