An examination of Daubert`s jurisprudence shows that the rejection of expert opinions is the exception rather than the rule. Daubert did not work on a “reversal of the federal law of evidence” and “the role of the trial court as guardian is not intended to serve as a substitute for the opposing system.” United States v. 14.38 acres of land in Leflore County, Mississippi, 80 F.3d 1074, 1078 (5th Cir. 1996). As the Court stated in Daubert, “vigorous cross-examination, the presentation of evidence to the contrary, and careful burden of proof are the traditional and proportionate means of attacking fragile but admissible evidence.” 509 US to 595. Nor is this amendment intended to provide an excuse to automatically challenge the testimony of each expert. See Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 119 p.Ct. 1167, 1176 (1999) (noting that the trial judge has the discretion “to avoid unnecessary `good repute proceedings` in ordinary cases where the reliability of an expert`s methods is properly taken for granted, and to require an appropriate trial in less common or more complex cases where the expert`s reliability is felt”). The first paragraph of Article 702 requires quantitative rather than qualitative analysis.
The amendment requires that expert testimony be based on sufficient underlying “facts or data”. The term “data” is intended to encompass the reliable opinions of other experts. See the original note from the Advisory Committee on Section 703. The term “facts or data” is broad enough to allow an expert to rely on hypothetical facts supported by the evidence. Id. The Civil Advisory Committee (“the Committee”) of the Federal Judicial Conference recently approved two significant amendments to Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence regarding expert testimony. The first proposed amendment seeks to clarify and emphasize that existing law requires counsel for the expert to determine all the conditions for admissibility of section 702 by predominating the evidence. The second proposed amendment to paragraph 702(d) is to remind courts that, in exercising their role as monitors, they must ensure that the expert`s opinion reflects a “reliable application” of principles and methods to the facts.
The public comment period on the proposed amendments remains open until February 16, 2022 and is therefore subject to change. If it comes into force as proposed, the role of the trial judge as custodian in deciding the admissibility of expert testimony should be crystal clear. N.J.R.E. 702 provides that plaintiffs or defendants may submit a qualified person for an opinion if the expert`s scientific, technical or other expertise assists the judge or jury in understanding the evidence or establishing a disputed fact. Rule 702 requires that the following three criteria be met before expert testimony can be admitted: (a) the expert`s scientific, technical or other expertise assists the judge in understanding the evidence or establishing a disputed fact; If a plaintiff`s lawyer submits a liability report in support of the plaintiff`s claim and assigns responsibility for the accident to a defendant, the defense must conduct an analysis consistent with the precedent set forth above and first determine whether the expert is qualified to provide the expert opinions contained in the report. If so, it must then be examined whether those opinions, as presented, are sufficiently supported by the evidence adduced in the present case or whether, according to the precedent set out above, they can be nothing more than inadmissible clear opinions. If this is the case, as in the Broome case, a request to block the expert`s report as well as a request for a summary decision to close the case will be admissible. In Daubert v.
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), the United States Supreme Court held that Rule 702, and not the “general acceptance” standard of Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), governed the admissibility of expert testimony in federal courts. At that time, Rule 702 provided: “If scientific, technical or other expertise assists the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or establishing a disputed fact, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, education or training may testify in the form of an expert opinion or otherwise. “That is, the mere opinion of an expert who has no support on factual evidence or similar data is a mere clear opinion that is not admissible and cannot be taken into account. The admissibility rule has been aptly described in such a way that the expert must “state the why and why” that supports the opinion, “and not a mere conclusion”. In applying these standards, our Appeal Division concluded that a trial court cannot rely on expert testimony without a reasonable factual basis and that the existence of a standard on which the expert testified cannot be proved.[Edited at 372-73 (internal citations omitted)]. (Emphasis added.) Experts are often the cornerstone of your personal injury, product liability or malpractice case. The testimony of an expert witness will sometimes be essential to satisfy the elements of your plea. Given the great importance that jurors often place on the testimony of expert witnesses, it is the judge`s responsibility to ensure that each expert witness presented is trustworthy and provides reliable evidence. If you plan to introduce expert testimony in your case of personal injury, product liability, or medical malpractice in New Jersey, it`s important to review the rules of evidence for expert witnesses in the state. The “clear opinion rule” prohibits experts from drawing naked conclusions that are not supported by factual evidence. Buckalew v. Grossbard, 87 N.J.
512 (524 (1981). If, pursuant to this amendment, a trial court concludes that expert testimony is reliable, this does not necessarily mean that contradictory expert testimony is unreliable. The amendment is broad enough to allow for statements that are the product of competing principles or methods in the same field. See, for example, Heller v. Shaw Industries, Inc., 167 F.3d 146, 160 (3d Cir. 1999) (Expert testimony cannot be excluded simply because the expert uses one test instead of another, if both tests are accepted in the field and both give reliable results). As the Court stated in In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Litigation, 35 F.3d 717, 744 (3d Cir. 1994), proponents “do not have to prove to the judge by a balance of evidence that the assessments of their experts are correct, they need only prove by a balance of evidence that their opinions are reliable. The requirement of proof of good repute is below the standard of proof of accuracy. See also Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 43 F.3d 1311, 1318 (9th Cir. 1995) (scientific experts could testify if they could prove that the methods they used were also used by “a recognized minority of scientists in their field”); Ruiz-Troche v.
Pepsi Cola, 161 F.3d 77, 85 (1st Cir. 1998) (“Daubert requires nor empowers the courts of first instance to determine which of several rival scientific theories has the best provenance.”). Rule 702 was created in response to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), and the numerous cases in which Daubert was used, including Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 119 S.Ct. 1167 (1999).
In the Daubert case, the court placed on trial judges the responsibility of acting as gatekeepers to exclude unreliable expert testimony, and the Kumho court clarified that this gatekeeper function applies to all expert testimony, not just science-based testimony. See also Kumho, 119 pages, 1178 (citing the Committee`s note on the proposed amendment to section 702, which had been issued for public comment prior to the date of the Kumho Decision). The amendment reaffirms the role of the trial court as custodian and includes certain general standards that the trial court must use to assess the reliability and usefulness of the expert testimony provided. Consistent with Kumho, the amended rule provides that all types of expert testimony raise questions of admissibility so that the trial court can decide whether the evidence is reliable and useful. Accordingly, the admissibility of any expert testimony is governed by the principles of rule 104(a). Under this rule, the onus is on the applicant to prove that the relevant admissibility requirements are met by the predominance of evidence. See Bourjaily v. United States, 483 U.S. 171 (1987).
In a highly anticipated decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court has just issued its opinion in In re Accutane. The text of the opinion is available here. The court reviewed and clarified the New Jersey State Court`s standard for “the admissibility of scientific evidence under the New Jersey Rules of Evidence.” With regard to Accutane, p. 3. While the Court did not adopt all of the mixed precedents covering the standard expressed in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) and its descendants, it clarified the New Jersey standard by stating: All of these factors remain relevant to determining the reliability of expert testimony under the amended Rule. Other factors may also be relevant. See Kumho, 119 pp. 1167, 1176 (“[W]e conclude that, in deciding a particular case, the trial judge must have considerable discretion as to how to determine whether certain expert testimony is reliable.”).
Nevertheless, no single factor is necessarily decisive for the reliability of a particular expert`s statement. See, for example, Heller v. Shaw Industries, Inc., 167 F.3d 146, 155 (3d Cir. 1999) (“not only must each step of the expert`s testimony be reliable, but each step must be evaluated in a practical and flexible manner, without clear rules of exclusion (or inclusion).”); Daubert v.