Improving APA science translation amicus briefs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This commentary uses APA's brief in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins to examine a number of issues concerning such briefs submitted to appellate courts: What are the purposes of APA's science translation briefs? What role conflicts emerge between legal advocates and empirical scientists? In what ways are these exacerbated or lessened by the respective duties of advocates and scientists? In what ways may the conflicts be compelled by differences between legal and empirical questions? How adequate are Brandeis briefs as a tool for communicating empirical research findings to appellate courts? Are any of the usual adversarial protections maintained? What is the question the court might look to the brief, and to the field, to answer? What is the role for meta-analyses? For what interests might APA as an amicus advocate? In addition to organizational self-interest and the public interest, does it ever make sense to advocate, in a purported science translation brief, on behalf of an ultimate issue in the case or for one of the parties to the litigation? To these difficult problems, I suggest a potentially simple solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages13
JournalLaw and human behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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