Joe Shelby Cecil, Ph.D, J.D.

Dr. Cecil joined the Civil Justice Research Initiative after retiring from the Division of Research at the Federal Judicial Center. While at the Center he examined access to civil justice in federal district courts as a as a result of the changing role of motions to dismiss and summary judgment. His research in this area has been commissioned and relied upon by the advisory committees on federal rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Dr. Cecil he also directed the Center’s Program on Scientific and Technical Evidence, which focused on the evolving role of scientific evidence in federal courts. He conducted empirical research projects on admissibility of scientific evidence in civil and criminal litigation and the role of court-appointed experts. He also served as principal editor of the first two editions of the Center’s Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, and collaborated on the development of the third edition, published jointly by the Federal Judicial Center and the National Academies.

Dr. Cecil has been a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Technology & Law since it began in 1998. He has been appointed as a member of a number of panels of the National Academy of Sciences, including recent service on panels issuing reports on eyewitness identification (Identifying the Culprit, 2014) and forensic science (Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States, 2009).

Other areas of research interest include federal civil and appellate procedure, jury competence in complex civil litigation, and development of large civil justice databases. Dr. Cecil received his J.D. and Ph.D. in psychology from Northwestern University.



Academic Publications:

Scientists as Experts Serving the Court, 147 Daedalus 152-163 (2018).

A Quarter‐Century of Summary Judgment Practice in Six Federal District Courts, 4 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 861-907 (2007).

Ten Years of Judicial Gatekeeping Under Daubert, 95 American Journal of Public Health S74-S80 (2005).

Construing Science in the Quest for Ipse Dixit: A Comment on Sanders and Cohen, 23 Seton Hall Law Review 967 (2003).

Inconsistency in Evidentiary Standards for Medical Testimony, 288 Journal of the American Medical Association 1382-7 (2003).

Phone: 202-494-1481