Prof. Emily Murphy, Matt Coles File Amicus Brief in SCOTUS Drug Smuggling Case

Professors Emily Murphy and Matt Coles served as counsel for 22 evidence law professors in an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court case Diaz v. United States.

Professor Emily Murphy, joined by more than 20 other Evidence law professors including Chancellor & Dean David Faigman, recently filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving a woman convicted of smuggling drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border. Professor Matt Coles was co-counsel.

In Diaz v. United States (No. 23-14), the defendant was charged with bringing methamphetamine into the U.S., despite claiming she had no knowledge drugs were hidden in the panels of her car.

The amicus brief filed on Feb. 2 addresses a Federal Rule of Evidence concerning whether jurors ought to hear from experts on how groups of people tend to think and behave when that testimony relates to a criminal defendant’s mental state. The brief cites research by Faigman on the use and misuse of expert testimony in court.

Murphy, an expert in Evidence law, and Coles, a seasoned Supreme Court litigator, were lead counsel and filers for the amicus brief, along with University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law Professor Teneille Brown.

Read the full amicus brief here.