July 20, 2015 Articles

Plowing in the Daubert Fields: Recent Applications of the Standards

A review reveals a checklist for attorneys seeking to strengthen or weaken an expert opinion

by William Frank Carroll

Even 20-plus years after Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), was decided, the practical implications of its teachings continue to develop. As with many Supreme Court pronouncements, the broad concepts of those decisions must find substance and contour in expositions by the lower courts, both trial and appellate.

Daubert Standards
Daubert involved claims by parents of children with birth defects that the drug Bendectin caused the defects. The issue before the Court was under what circumstances expert testimony would be admitted to establish those claims. The Court, relying on Federal Rule of Evidence 702, concluded that such testimony would be permitted if it "rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant." Daubert, 509 U.S. at 597.

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