Williams and the New Wigmore

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court issued a fractured opinion in Williams v. Illinois, a Confrontation Clause case. The bad news (for just about everyone) is that this opinion hopelessly muddles things. The good news (for me and my co-authors) is that four different Justices cited the treatise I co-authored with Penn State’s David Kaye and UCLA’s Jennifer Mnookin, The New Wigmore: Expert Evidence. The further bad news is that we agree with the dissent.

I use “we”, but authorship credit for the relevant section goes to Jennifer, and editing credit to David. In other words, I had nothing to do with it.

I am, however, hoping that Williams will get the treatise some attention. It can’t hurt that Justice Kagan called The New Wigmore “the principal modern treatise on evidence.”

I’d provide an Amazon link for the volume but there isn’t one for the second edition (marketing the volume beyond library sales has not been the publisher’s strength). It is, however, possible to buy the volume directly from the publisher.

There is a lot of neat and useful material in the volume, including, e.g., a uniquely detailed discussion of the admissibility of so-called learned treatises, a topic to which other treatises devote at best a few paragraphs. Also, unlike other evidence treatises that either focus on either federal law or specific state rules, we cover the evidence law across the U.S. As a result, we extensively discuss state rules such as the Frye general acceptance test for the admissibility of expert testimony, which remains the law in many populous states including California, New York, and Florida.

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