Category Archives: Consortium Grand Rounds

Consortium Grand Rounds: Not So “Blind” Justice: The Cognitive Biases Endemic in Forensic Science and Their Possible Solutions

Consortium Grand Rounds
Not So “Blind” Justice: The Cognitive Biases Endemic in Forensic Science and Their Possible Solutions
Tuesday, March 18th - 12pm
Alumni Reception Center, UC Hastings College of the Law
Food will be provided so please register here by Friday, March 14:
CME/CLE credit will also be provided

About the Speaker:

Dr. Itiel Dror is a cognitive neuroscientist. He is a Principal Consultant and Researcher at Cognitive Consultants International, Ltd.  Interested in how the brain and cognitive system perceives and interprets information, he was awarded a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1994. Dr. Dror's work focuses on the cognitive architecture that underpins expertise. He researches expert performance in the real world, examining medical surgeons, military fighter pilots, frontline police, and forensic analysts. Dr. Dror's research provides insights into the inherent trade-offs of being an expert. In the forensic domain he has demonstrated how contextual information can influence the judgments and decision making of experts; he has shown that even fingerprint and DNA experts can reach different conclusions when the same evidence is presented within different extraneous contexts. He has published over 100 research articles, and has been extensively cited in the Scottish Fingerprint Public Inquiry Report and in the American National Academy of Science Report on Forensic Science. He currently is working on a number of major research projects aimed at providing a better understanding of forensic experts and finding ways to make their judgments more reliable. Dr. Dror has been working with police forces and agencies in a variety of countries (e.g., The Netherlands, Finland, United Kingdom, the US, and Australia) in providing training and implementing cognitive best practices in evaluating forensic evidence. More information is available at


Experts are highly valued by the courts as they are regarded to provide impartial and objective evidence. However, understanding the way experts think and how the brain processes information, offers insights to circumstances in which evidence may be far from objective or being impartial. Cognitive research has well established this problem, demonstrating many different types of psychological contaminations that affect experts in the criminal justice system. Cognitive science can help identify such weaknesses and provide practical ways to mitigate them.

References (can be downloaded from

• Dror, I. E. & Cole, S. (2010). The vision in 'blind' justice: Expert perception, judgment and visual cognition in forensic pattern recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17(2), 161-167.

• Dror, I.E. and Rosenthal, R. (2008). Meta-analytically quantifying the reliability and biasability of forensic experts. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 53(4), 900-903.

• Dror, I. E. (2011). The paradox of human expertise: Why experts get it wrong. In N. Kapur (Ed.) The Paradoxical Brain (pp. 177-188). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press


Consortium Grand Rounds – Defining Death in America: The Intersection of Law, Medicine, Ethics & Politics

Consortium Grand Rounds

Defining Death in America: The Intersection of

Law, Medicine, Ethics & Politics

Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 3:30-4:30pm

Health Sciences West (HSW) Room 303

UCSF Parnassus Campus


About the Event

Two recent end of life cases - the McMath case in Oakland and the Munoz case in Texas- have drawn significant media attention to the legal, medical, ethical, and political implications of defining and declaring death.  In both cases, physicians determined the individuals to be brain dead; a declaration that results in an immediate (and usually undisputed) legal determination of death.  However, in these cases the declaration of brain death triggered heated disputes as to the veracity of the medical determination and its legal consequences.  The cases also raised important questions about patient and family rights with regard to end of life treatment, the duties of medical providers, and the interests of society at large.  At this presentation, medical and legal experts will comment on these two cases, as well as the broader issues they raise.  After initial comments, the moderator will lead an interactive discussion with the audience.  We hope you will join us.


Please RSVP here:


Robert V. Brody, MD 

Attending Physician, Medicine, Medicine Consultation, Palliative Care, and Pain Services and

Chief Pain Consultation Clinic, San Francisco General Hospital

Medical Director, Health at Home, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Clinical Professor of Medicine and Family & Community Medicine, UCSF



David L. Faigman, JD

John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

Co-Director, UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy

Professor, UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry


Steve Pantilat, MD

Professor of Clinical Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine

Alan M. Kates and John M. Burnard Endowed Chair in Palliative Care

Director, UCSF Palliative Care Program

Director, UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center


Radhika Rao, JD

Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law


Debra Gerardi, RN, MPH, JD

Chief Creative Office, EHCCO

J. Dawn Waters, MD
Clinical Instructor of Neurosurgery, Stanford Hospitals & Clinics


CME/CLE Credit
For this event, we will be offering both CME and CLE credits.


The O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.


These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) and the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. UCSF is accredited by the ACGME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The planning committee and faculty have reviewed and approved content for this event with regard to conflicts of interest

Consortium Grand Rounds: A Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for the Future of Physicians and the Medical Profession

Consortium Grand Rounds
"The Patient's Okay but the Doctor is in Critical Condition: A Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for the Future of Physicians and the Medical Profession"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 3:30-4:30pm

Alumni Reception Center (2nd floor)
200 McAllister Street, UC Hastings College of the Law
Refreshments will be provided so please RSVP here by January 20th:


Distinguished attorney and health policy strategist, Charles Bond, J.D.,will provide an analysis of the current state of the medical profession andpropose a vision for its future.  He will explore challenges in our system of medical education and the pressing need to train doctors how to work together using new and sophisticated skills that are essential in the evolving health care market. Mr. Bond will discuss, in practical terms, how physicians might realize and mobilize their individual and collective power for the good of the patient, for the good of the physician, for the good of the medical profession and for the good of health care reform in the country.   


About the Speaker

As a lawyer, Charles Bond has written and lectured nationally on virtually all legal and practical aspects of the practice of medicine. He began by helping to draft MICRA, California's malpractice reforms that still serve as a model nationwide. He and his firm have created or represented more medical groups and physician organizations than any other lawyers now practicing in America. Drawing on his vast experience with managed care strategies and physician organizations, he has written and spoken widely on Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's) and Continuum of Care Organizations (COCO's) and consults with such organizations nationwide. He has taught AMA's course on how to set up a medical practice, and has spoken and published extensively on all forms of physician contracts, especially physician employment contracts. He has also worked with faculty practice plans and academic physicians across the country, as well as with medical students and physicians in training.


Throughout his 40-year career, Mr. Bond has always been active in health policy, not only advising medical organizations, but serving on numerous health policy think tanks. In recent years, he has devoted much of his efforts to the founding and fostering of the Patient-Physician Alliance, a non-profit, non-political national organization dedicated to reforming and re-designing health care from the grassroots up.


He is also the author of Training the Helpless Physician and AMA's first book on Physician Employment Agreements.

CME/CLE will be provided

Consortium Grand Rounds: Tobacco Industry Influence of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Torts and Implications for Conflict of Interest Policies

The American Law Institute (ALI) is a prestigious and influential organization that creates treatises on the current state of the law, including “Restatements” of case law that guide judicial decisions and legislation. This paper uses previously secret tobacco industry documents made available as the result of state and federal litigation against the industry to describe how the tobacco companies, acting both indirectly through their trade organization, the Tobacco Institute, and directly using influential lawyers, quietly influenced the ALI’s writing of the Restatement (Second) of Torts to the substantial benefit of the tobacco industry. The ease of surreptitious access by the tobacco industry to the ALI calls into question the Institute’s independence, the preparation of major policy documents such as the Restatements, as well as the Institute’s ability to monitor and control conflicts of interest. The American Law Institute’s conflict of interest policies lag behind comparable organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and are insufficient to protect Institute projects from significant outside influence. Because of the undisclosed influence of the tobacco industry over the American Law Institute, courts and legislatures should not apply the principles embodied in the Restatement of Torts in cases against the tobacco companies for injuries suffered from tobacco use. Until the American Law Institute implements strong conflict of interest policies to ensure that the ALI becomes independent of private interest manipulation, courts and legislatures should not rely on Institute reports and recommendations as neutral scholarly summaries of the law to guide judicial and legislative decision making.

Refreshments will be provided so please RSVP here by Monday, November 11th. 

About the Speakers:

  • Stan Glantz, PhD - Dr. Glantz, the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control, conducts research on a wide range of topics ranging from the health effects of secondhand smoke (with particular emphasis on the cardiovascular system) to the efficacy of different tobacco control policies. Dr. Glantz conducts research on a wide range of issues ranging from the effects of secondhand smoke on the heart through the reductions in heart attacks observed when smokefree policies are enacted, to how the tobacco industry fights tobacco control programs.
  • Richard Barnes, JD - Mr. Barnes has been involved in tobacco control for over 17 years, with the last 10 devoted to tobacco control policy research at UCSF. He has authored several articles using tobacco industry internal documents to expose its malfeasance.
  • Elizabeth Laposata, JD, MPH - Elizabeth Laposata (Lah-po-sah-tah) earned her biology and anthrpology degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, her Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from Berkeley, and graduated from Hastings Law School in 2009. She has devoted her working life to public health policy working in childhood obesity and tobacco control policy during and right after law school. She then joined Stanton Glantz and Richard Barnes at the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education as a tobacco document researcher looking into how the tobacco industry worked to change state tort and initiative and referendum laws.  She has since moved on to Washington, DC and works at the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products as a policy analyst. The work being presented today is published in the Iowa Law Review under the title "Tobacco Industry Influence on the American Law Institute's Restatement of Torts and Implications for Its Conflict of Interest Policies."