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The Daubert Worldview

Prolegomenon: A Pronunciation Gazetteer

Q:    Before we get to what it all means, how is "Daubert" pronounced?

A:    "Dow-burt."

Q:    How do you know?

A:    From an article authored by a duly licensed attorney who developed his opinion in the regular course of his professional duties.  See Michael H. Gottesman, Admissibility of Expert Testimony After Daubert: The "Prestige" Factor, 43 Emory L.J. 867, 867 (1994).

Q:    What makes Gottesman an expert on this subject?

A:    He represented Jason Daubert before the Supreme Court and listened to how the Daubert family pronounced the name.

Q:    So Gottesman's opinion on the correct pronunciation was developed for litigation purposes?

A:    Yes.

Q:    Is "dow-burt" the generally accepted pronunciation?

A:    Not universally so.  Many lawyers and judges say "dough-bear."

Q:    Well, what about the methods Gottesman used to arrive at his conclusion?  Is listening to the client a prevalent methodology in the legal field?

A:    To a point.

Q:    So did Gottesman take any courses on listening to the client during law school?

A:    Almost certainly not. 

Q:    Has the technique of listening to the client been tested?

A:    Informally.

Q:    Does it have a known error rate?

A:    The error rate is thought to be fairly high.

Q:    Isn't it true, in fact, that Jason Daubert himself says the correct pronunciation is "daw-burt"?

A:    Yes, but that's a single anecdotal report from somebody who doesn't even have a law degree.  Gottesman's views are reflected in the published literature and have survived the crucible of peer review.

Q:    Has Gottesman been consistent, at least, in the position he has taken on the proper pronunciation?

A:    No.  When he was arguing the case before the Supreme Court, he pronounced the name "dough-bear."

Q:    Why?

A:    The Justices seemed to prefer that pronunciation.

Next: Chapter 1 -- Some Basics

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Prolegomenon
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3