CFP: The Public Historian Seeks Papers on Historians as Experts in Natural Resources Cases (incl. Indian Law)

Here, h/t LHB.

THE PUBLIC HISTORIAN invites proposals for articles to be published in a special issue of the journal that examines the historian as expert witness in the adjudication of natural resources in North America, including but not limited to issues surrounding property, water, and mineral rights. Proposals that discuss issues and problems of historical consulting and expert witness testimony across North America (Native American/First Nations, Canada, United States, Mexico) are especially encouraged. For example, a proposed essay might address the nature and scope of your work as a consultant and expert witness, contextualize your recruitment to particular cases, evaluate aspects of your work (deposition, trial testimony, research, and consultation), consider a body of work generated by particular litigation, examine judicial criteria for determining historical expertise on a given subject, identify and evaluate the tensions or challenges of presenting your expertise in litigation, or critically analyze the substance and effect of historical expert witness work on your discipline. Proposals for alternative formats, such as conversations among experts in one field or with attorneys or judges on the claims, composition, and effects of historical expertise on a particular case, will also be welcome. Proposals, which should be no longer than one double-spaced page, should be submitted to The Public Historian at Deadline for submission is March 1, 2013. Selected authors will be notified by April 1, 2013. Articles will be due by August 1, 2013 and subject to peer review. Publication of the special issue of The Public Historian is expected in 2014 (Volume 36).

Sarah Case
Managing Editor, The Public Historian
Department of History, Mail Code 9410
University of California, Santa Barbara 93106-9410


Update in Utah Stolen Indian Artifacts Case — Defendants’ “Expert” Allowed to Testify on Value of Objects

Here is an interesting development in United States v. Smith, the criminal case in Utah regarding the theft of Indian artifacts and other objects.

The defendants’ proposed expert witness (Dace Hyatt) on the value of the materials collected allegedly in violation of federal law will be allowed to testify, despite having no formal training on anthropology, archaeology, or anything else (not to mention lying in an affidavit about reviewing evidence in person when that evidence is locked away deep in the bowels of the BLM). Assuming the defendants still use this expert, cross-examination at trial will be very interesting. His testimony is that each object is valued at slightly less than $500, the jurisdictional minimum.

Here are the materials:

DCT Order on Daubert Motion

US Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony

US Second Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony

Defendants Opposition to Motion