Exxon Footnote 17: Courting Scientific McCarthyism?

Law360, New York (January 9, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- In footnote 17 to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, concerning the propriety of the punitive damage award against Exxon in connection with the Valdez disaster, the Court remarked that, “Because this research was funded in part by Exxon, we decline to rely on it.”[1]

The research at issue concerned an attempt to study “the predictability of punitive damage awards by conducting numerous ‘mock juries,’ where different ‘jurors’ are confronted with the same hypothetical case.”[2]

The Court’s remark, which seemingly suggests...
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