Daubert Hearing – conducted by federal district courts, usually before trial, to determine whether proposed expert testimony meets the federal requirements for relevance and reliability

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Daubert hearing:
(1993)

1. A hearing conducted by federal district courts, usually before trial, to determine whether proposed expert testimony meets the federal requirements for relevance and reliability, as clarified by the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786 (1993).

Daubert test:
(1993)

1. Evidence. A method that federal district courts use to determine whether expert testimony is admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which generally requires that expert testimony consist of scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will assist the fact-tinder in understanding the evidence or determining a fact in issue.  *  In its role as “gatekeeper” of the evidence, the trial court must decide whether the proposed expert testimony meets the requirements of relevance and reliability.  The court applies the test outside the jury’s presence, usu. during a pretrial Daubert hearing.  At the hearing, the proponent must show that the expert’s underlying reasoning or methodology, and its application to the facts, are scientifically valid. In ruling on admissibility, the court considers a flexible list of factors, including

(1) whether the theory can be or has been tested,
(2) whether the theory has been subjected to peer review or publication,
(3) the theory’s known or potential rate of error and whether there are standards that control its operation, and
(4) the degree to which the relevant scientific community has accepted the theory.

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786 (1993). Similar scrutiny must be applied to nonscientilic expert testimony. Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 119 S.Ct. 1167 (1999). Variations of the Daubert test are applied in the trial courts of most states.

     Excerpt from Bryan A. Garner’s Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage (3d ed. 2011):

     “Francophones and gallicism-lovers be warned: Daubert is pronounced /daw-bart/, not /doh-bayr/.  The confusion over how to pronounce Daubert began (and apparently should have ended) in the Supreme Court when the Chief Justice said /daw-bert/ in oral argument.  The Dauberts’ lawyer then chose to mispronounce his clients’ name repeatedly rather than correct the Chief Justice.  And so the /daw-bert/ pronunciation was established ex cathedra by a Chief Justice who went uncorrected. [2]

Daubert trilogy:
(1999)

1. The three U.S. Supreme Court cases that govern the federal standards for admissibility of expert testimony: Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc, 509 U.S. 579 (1993); General Electric v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997); and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999).  *  The Daubert trilogy, coupled with Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which was amended in response to the many cases applying Daubert (including Kumho Tire), requires the trial court in its capacity as “gatekeeper” of the evidence to exclude unreliable expert testimony.  See DAUBERT TEST; EVIDENTIARY RELIABILITY; RELIABILITY. [1]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Bryan A. Garner, Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage 246 (3d ed. 2011) (citations omitted).

 

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