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Amicus curiae briefs, Social science research, Maryland v. Craig, Empirical research, Expert evidence, Frye v. United States, Lockhart v. McCree


Courts | Evidence | Law and Psychology | Law and Society | Legal Writing and Research


Social scientists have increasingly become involved in the submission of amicus curiae or "friend of the court" briefs in legal cases being decided by state and federal courts. This increase has triggered considerable debate about the use of briefs to communicate relevant social science research. This article evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of summarizing social science research for the courts. It also reviews the procedures for submitting briefs developed by the American Psychology-Law Society which, in collaboration with the American Psychological Association, has submitted its first brief in Maryland v. Craig, a case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Publication Citation

Published in: Law and Human Behavior, vol. 15, no. 1 (February 1991).