Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A false attribution comes back to bite

This is why lawyers (and everyone) should fact check - looking for False Attributions - especially of credentials. This is from Peter Bowditch @ The Millenium Project.
I must be an expert! (23/6/2007)
I mentioned last week that The Trial of The Century had started, where the parents of 4,800 autistic children are being encouraged to abuse the legal process in order to bolster the claims of the anti-vaccination liars. The witness for the plaintiffs called on the fourth day was brilliant, and she has decided that the first case was definitely caused by the MMR vaccine, plus thimerosal for good measure. Her name is Vera Byers, and the fun started when opposing counsel started asking her about her CV. It seems that she is "board eligible" as an allergist with the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, but unfortunately the board doesn't recognise the term "board eligible". Strike one. She says she is on the faculty of Nottingham University, but the University says this is not so. Dr Byers says "I think I dropped off". Strike two. She claims to have been the medical director at Immunex for the Biological License Application for the drug Emberel, but sadly her name does not appear on any documentation filed with the FDA. Strike three. The best, however, is her justification for including an affiliation with the University of California - San Francisco on her CV. I can do no better than to quote the words she said on the stand: "I use their library and I go to their parties". Is this woman a good witness or is she a joke? Even Dr Boyd Haley couldn't be as silly as this one. Read and enjoy here.

I checked my wallet and I found that I have the qualifications to be an expert witness in court cases such as this. The Westmead Hospital library is actually part of the University of Sydney's medical school, so all I need now to call myself "Doctor" is to go to a few parties.