Understanding Law as a Part of Forensic Economic Practice

  • Thomas R. Ireland


The key defining characteristic of a forensic economist is knowledge about the special requirements of law that relate to how economic questions must be answered in the context of litigation. The economic questions that must be answered usually relate to the amount of pecuniary damages that have been caused by some type of harm, though some forensic economists are also called upon to answer questions regarding whether or not liability exists. Compared with experts in other fields, both statutory and case law have more impact on how forensic economists must answer questions. Thus, although most economists are not trained in law, they need to know more about law than experts in other fields who may also be called upon to testify. This chapter provides a basic introduction to the types of law that a forensic economist must consider when working on specific cases in litigation.


Federal Court Expert Testimony Legal Decision Earning Capacity Economic Expert 
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Cases Cited

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  2. Frye v. United States, 54 App. 46; 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).Google Scholar
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  4. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. v. Pfeifer, 103 S.Ct. 2541 (1983).Google Scholar
  5. Sandstrom v. Principi, 358 F.3d 1376 (D.C. Cir. 2004).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas R. Ireland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Missouri—St. LouisDallasUSA

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