An Autopsy of Scientific Evidence in a Post-Daubert Scientific Evidence Landscape
58 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2011 Last revised: 19 Jul 2012
Date Written: May 1, 1996
Acknowledging the process by which scientific knowledge is acquired, these approaches required a trial judge to delve into the scientific validity of the expert's methodology, presuming it to be indicative of evidentiary reliability... When an expert's methodology has been generally accepted in the scientific community for the particular purpose involved in a case, courts have readily admitted the testimony under Daubert... The expert's choice of methodology under the first prong of Daubert must amount to scientific knowledge... When an expert's conclusions are not commensurate with the underlying methodology, they may be properly excluded under Daubert because they do not rely on scientific knowledge and are thus unhelpful to the jury... It is amply clear that trial judges do not enjoy their assignments under Daubert. Courts employ a gamut of proxies and distinctions to get around the first prong of Daubert. Some of the common ones are: classifying scientific evidence as not being novel to circumvent Daubert; finding scientific evidence to be insufficient without addressing admissibility; reclassifying expert testimony as not relating to a science; and declaring proffered expert testimony to be lay opinion.
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