The Obama Trials

US v American Express

09 November 2017

An oral history of why lawyers should leave economics to economists at trial1 Cross-examining the opponent’s economic expert can present unique opportunities. Cross-examination can speak to all issues in an antitrust case, from market power and competitive effects to pro-competitive justifications. It can help the court understand the importance of certain facts to your case. But it can also hurt your case and credibility. Examining an opponent’s economist is akin to dancing the tango with a cobra: no matter how many skilful moves you have, there’s a better chance you’ll get bitten. For two days in the summer of 2014, I danced with a cobra.