The Other Shoe Drops: Minnesota Rejects Daubert
29 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2010
Date Written: 2000
In 1991, the United States Supreme Court handed decided Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., rejecting the long-standing federal test for the admissibility of scientific testimony articulated in Frye v. United States. Unlike many states, however, which embraced Daubert within years – or even months – of the federal decision, Minnesota declined to make Daubert the law of the jurisdiction. In a pair of cases decided in 2000, Goeb v. Tharaldson and Sentinel Mgmt. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety, the court held that Minnesota would retain the general acceptance test. The court's rejection of Daubert can be read as an attempt to give the Minnesota trial bench and bar the best of both worlds: Frye-Mack consistency coupled with Daubert-style gatekeeping. This article examines the successes and failures of the Minnesota approach.
Keywords: Experts, expert witnesses, evidence, Minnesota law, expert testimony, novel science, Rule 702
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