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Giovanni Ciavarra

David Schwartz

Bridging the Gap Between Science and the Law

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Are you Forcing your Opposition to Review the Science Systematically?


Whatever the details of your toxic tort, pharmaceutical, medical device, or environmental case, odds are that you will confront multiple scientific studies, sometimes referred to by plaintiffs as “lines of evidence.” Plaintiff counsel will then assert that this evidence, “taken as a whole,” supports their case. Synthesizing these scientific studies into a coherent assessment is ultimately what the legal controversy is all about. Therefore, the methodology for performing this assessment is a critical component of your case.

5 Types of EHS Experts to Consider for Your Next Toxic Tort or Environmental Case

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We discussed in our previous post 10 tips for preparing your environmental health and safety (EHS) expert. As you consider the retention of one or more EHS professionals for your case, the first step is to determine which type of EHS professional could provide valuable testimony that provide your client with opinions that will help them prevail in their case.

10 Tips for Preparing Your Expert in Environmental Health and Safety


If you’re involved with a toxic tort or environmental contamination case with alleged exposures to chemical, biological or physical agents, an Environment Health & Safety (EHS) professional may be just the expert you need to provide winning testimony for your case. For example, in a toxic tort case, plaintiff may allege that past exposure to a chemical or product has caused an adverse event, illness, well defined disease or syndrome. In an environmental case, alleged contamination of air, soil, sediment or water may pose a current or potential concern for future illness or disease among nearby residents.

New Study Expected to Impugn Pesticides, But Is It Legit?

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A new epidemiological study linking autism with pesticide exposure is expected to surface soon, according to our sources in the scientific community. The study was commissioned by Childhood Autism Risks from Genes and Environment (CHARGE). We anticipate that the mainstream media and some in the scientific community will latch onto the study because the rising rate of autism is alarming, and the public is understandably searching for answers. But we would caution the scientific community, the media, and the public to approach the study with skepticism instead of automatically buying into the results.

How Does Your Busy Litigation Team Access the Science?

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In our previous posts, we discussed the first and second steps of effective scientific information management for litigators: Targeting and Identifying the Right Science and Alerting the Team. Today, we’re going to discuss the third step: Archiving the science. Our belief is that if literature is easily accessible to the entire team through rational, effective systems, it is more likely that your team members will refer to it, which can often help strengthen your case.

Alerting Your Legal Team to the Relevant Science

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In our last post, we discussed the first step of effective scientific information management for litigators: Targeting and Identifying the Right Science. Today, we’re going to discuss the second step: Alert the team to the relevant science.

Targeting and Identifying the Right Science for Your Case

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Imagine that you are deposing or cross-examining a scientific expert and he challenges you with a scientific study that you have never heard of.  You’re thrown off guard.  Embarrassed.  It is every lawyer’s nightmare.

Why “Big Data” May be the Holy Grail for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation


As we have discussed in previous posts, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and FDA adverse event reporting system (AERs) are a critical part of many drug and device legal cases (see our Drug Safety eBook for a summary of our commentary on this topic).

A Proven Five Step Method To Effectively Manage Scientific Information For Busy Litigators

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Imagine your firm has just landed a new case involving piles and piles of complex scientific information. How do you get your team up-to-speed with the science, how do you make sure they are kept up-to-date with the latest science related to the case, and how do you make sure no critical piece information is missed?

8 Bradford Hill Examples You May Not Know


When challenging general causation arguments in toxic tort and product liability personal injury cases, more times than not, defense lawyers find themselves relying upon the criteria developed by Sir Austin Bradford Hill (see our related previous posts: 5 reasons to apply Bradford Hill criteria in your next case and Applying the Bradford Hill criteria to assess GMO safety). While these criteria should not be considered a checklist or a strict algorithm for determining whether an exposure is causally related to a disease, they certainly provide one of the most widely cited guidelines to evaluate causation based on observational epidemiological studies.

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