Jerome M. Staller, Ph.D.
Jerome M. Staller, founder and president of the Center for Forensic Economic Studies, died August 1, 2008 of complications arising from kidney dialysis. He was 62.
The Center was one of the very first economic consulting firms to focus primarily on the analysis of damages and liability in civil litigation. While working as a senior economist for with the U.S. Department of Labor in the late 1970s, Dr. Staller was asked by Bernard Siskin, his former statistics professor at Temple University, to help analyze liability and damages issues on behalf of the plaintiffs in the landmark case Pennsylvania v. Local 452 Operating Engineers, an ultimately successful action against the union for discriminatory hiring practices.
Finding that he preferred the excitement and intellectual challenge of litigation-related analysis to working within the federal bureaucracy, Dr. Staller, along with Siskin, opened the Center in 1980 in Philadelphia. The small, two-man firm provided attorneys with analysis of damages in personal injury matters and statistical analysis of liability and damages in labor and employment matters.
Since then, the size and scope of the firm has increased dramatically. Today, the Center analyzes damages and liability in many areas, including injury and death matters, mass torts, commercial litigation, employment actions and insurance-related issues.
Center economists have been retained in many high-profile matters. Dr. Staller’s 1996 testimony on the plaintiff’s probable retirement age in Finch v. Hercules established new law on statistical evidence. Other prominent cases in which Center economists were retained include Marks v. Stinson, a landmark election-law case in which statistical analysis by Center economists showed that voting fraud had occurred in a Pennsylvania state senate race; theNational Bendectin Litigation, a massive class action in which Center economists acted as court-appointed experts on damages; and the Estate of Jessica Savitch, in which analysis by Center economists helped defendants achieve a reasonable settlement in a potentially volatile matter involving the first female network news anchor.
In addition to his achievements as a forensic economist, Dr. Staller enjoyed success as a best selling author. His book “What Are the Chances: Risks, Odds and Likelihood in Everyday Life,” written with Bernard Siskin, Ph.D. and David Rorvik, was published by Crown Publishing in 1989.
Dr. Staller earned his doctorate in Economics from Temple University. A Philadelphia native, he graduated from Central High School in 1963.
Dr. Staller taught in an adjunct status at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, donating his salary to the school’s scholarship fund. He also lectured annually at Villanova University School of Law, addressing Professor Abraham Gafni’s Trial Advocacy class.