Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael: The Supreme Court Follows Up on the Daubert Test
8 Pages Posted: 10 May 2014
Date Written: 2000
Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael is a follow-up opinion to the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. The opinion in Kumho Tire raised several important issues, all of which are discussed in this Article. One of the issues that arose in Kumho Tire was the scope of appellate review. Another issue discussed in Kumho Tire was whether Daubert was intended to apply on the one hand only to scientific testimony, or whether it was intended to apply to all expert testimony. The Supreme Court held that the Daubert framework, meaning the gatekeeper role of the district judge to make sure that expert testimony is both relevant and reliable, is not limited to scientific testimony. Rather, it applies to all expert testimony that is sought to be introduced in the federal courts. Lastly, the author addresses the point that Kumho Tire is important because the U.S. Supreme Court said that the four factors of reliability identified in Daubert may be applied by the trial judge in a flexible way, understanding that they may not all be applicable in every instance. Kumho Tire stresses the point that district judges would have a great deal of flexibility in this gatekeeper role in assessing reliability.
Keywords: U.S. Supreme Court, Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, scope of appellate review, expert testimony, scientific expert testimony, trial admissibility, reliability of expert evidence, Federal Rules of Evidence
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation