472.01 Amicus Lab

A wide range of cases raise novel scientific issues, which judges can struggle to resolve. One way to provide courts with independent information and insight regarding complex scientific issues is through the filing friend of the court, or amicus curiae briefs. The purpose of the Amicus Lab is to teach students about the use of emerging science and technology in the courts through the drafting such amicus briefs. We will draft a number of amicus briefs, including to submit to state and federal appellate courts and the US Supreme Court, on topics and in cases where independent expert views could play a useful role. These amicus briefs will be unaligned with any party and are intended to provide the court with unbiased, current, and coherent information about the scientific issue in the case.

We will meet weekly at a time convenient for all of the students in the lab. Students will initially focus upon the preparation of background memoranda on the selected scientific issues. These memoranda will be used to develop draft amicus briefs over the course of the semester. No scientific background is required, but it would be helpful, as would the basic Evidence course.

Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Simulated Writing, Litigation
Group project(s)
Brandon L. Garrett, Nita A. Farahany
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.472.01.Sp21
Email list: LAW.472.01.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice