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How to Be an Effective Expert Witness



(p. B16) Dr. David Sackett, whose clinical trials proved the value of taking aspirin in preventing heart attacks and strokes, and who helped pioneer the use of exacting statistical data in treating patients, died on May 13 [2015] in Markdale, Ontario.


. . .


His colleagues also appreciated his sense of humor. He recalled that while he was testifying in a case as an expert witness, a lawyer handed him a research paper supposedly proving the safety of a drug that was in dispute. He read the paper and concluded that it was flawed.

"Well, I could take several more days and show you dozens more papers on this topic, but the jury would probably want to lynch me," the lawyer insisted.

"I would welcome that," Dr. Sackett said.

"Well, we could meet after the trial and go over these papers together," the lawyer suggested.

To which Dr. Sackett replied, "No, I meant that I would welcome the lynching."



For the full obituary, see:

SAM ROBERTS. "Dr. David Sackett, a Health Care Innovator, Dies at 80." The New York Times (Thurs., May 21, 2015): B16.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the date of the online version of the obituary is MAY 19, 2015, and has the title "Dr. David Sackett, Who Proved Aspirin Helps Prevent Heart Attacks, Dies at 80.")






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