Expert Evidence after Daubert
Posted: 18 Oct 2010
Date Written: December 2005
Daubert stands for a trilogy of Supreme Court cases as well as revisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Together they represent American law's most recent effort to filter expert evidence offered at trial. This review begins by placing the Daubert trilogy in the context of earlier judicial efforts to solve the screening problem, which began well before the twentieth century, and then provides a brief explication of evidence law under Daubert. Next, we discuss several aspects of the jurisprudence of expert evidence: its connection to debates in the philosophy of science, the practical legal problems courts are trying to solve, and procedural implications. Then we review and discuss varied impacts of Daubert: changes in law, marked increases in cases and scholarship relating to expert evidence, and research examining judicial gatekeeping under Daubert (civil defendants appear to benefit greatly and criminal defendants hardly at all). We conclude by offering several predictions and prescriptions for the future of expert evidence.
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