To: "SEAOC Newsletter" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: Recommended Reading, Part 2 of 2
From: Christopher Wright <chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 00 11:35:18 -0500
>The only exception would be if you were a
>forensic engineering firm, then the higher degree would be better.
I'll quibble with that. I've run into more than a few PhD's on the stand.
The biggest problems with PhD's is that they are often pedantic and can't
handle the inevitable ambiguity in expert testimony any better than a
firefighter or auto technician with decent communications skills.
Over-educated people can leave a jury with their eyes glazed-over. Some
lawyers love flashing degrees, but juries are made up of lay-people, held
against their will, who quickly get tired of being preached at by people
To risk over-generalization, at one time the PhD meant added breadth of
knowledge, but those days are long gone. Engineering education seems to
aim at learning more and more about less and less so that fully fledged
engineering PhD's frequently know everything about nothing. I figure the
time needed to instill organizational skills and the ability to
distinguish an critical issues from simple questions is independent of
academic achievement. It's easier with the Bachelor's degree because they
understand that they don't know everything.
Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com | this distance" (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)