Professor Michael J. Saks
Michael J. Saks is Regents Professor at the Arizona State University, where he is on the faculties of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the Department of Psychology, and the Law and Behavioral Science Program, and is also a fellow in the Center for Law, Science, and Innovation. Previously, he was a faculty member at the University of Iowa as the Edward F. Howrey Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology. For a decade, he taught appellate judges in the University of Virginia Law School's summer LL.M. program, trial judges in Duke University’s Judging Science program, law professors at the Georgetown University Law Center, and law students, graduate students, and/or undergraduates at Boston College, Georgetown, and Ohio State University, as well as at ASU and Iowa.
Michael’s research and scholarship have spanned a range of topics: the psychology of decision-making in the legal process, the behavior of the litigation system, scientific and other expert evidence in the law, and legal policy related to iatrogenic injury.
Michael has authored several books including, Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (five volumes), The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law (2016) and Closing Death’s Door: Legal Innovations to End the Epidemic of Healthcare Harm (2021).
Michael’s work has earned a number of awards and has been cited in various judicial opinions, including several by the United States Supreme Court. His articles have made a lasting impact on the legal system, in part because he tries to address the big picture. Thus, his piece on “The Behavior of the Tort Litigation System,” a landmark integrative review of empirical research concerning the litigation system, has been the most-cited article on tort law for more than a quarter-century. And, “The Coming Paradigm Shift in Forensic Identification Science,” in the journal Science, helped stimulate a groundbreaking examination by the (U.S.) National Research Council of the traditional forensic sciences.
He earned a Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from the Ohio State University and an M.S.L. from the Yale Law School.