February 26, 2020 Articles

Give the Jury the Tools to Decide: Expert Testimony under Rule 702

Expert testimony consisting of little more than reciting evidence and reaching a conclusion risks usurping the jury’s role.

By Mark J. Schirmer

Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence allows parties to introduce expert testimony to aid the jury in fact-finding. See Fed. R. Evid. 702(a). Given this license, parties seek to use experts for a variety of purposes, including explaining technical or economic concepts, demonstrating adherence to technical standards in design, explaining causation (or the lack of it), and establishing injury and damages.

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