The Expert Witness: Lessons from the U.S. Experience

Humana Mente: Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (2015): 39-70

University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-7

32 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2016

See all articles by Susan Haack

Susan Haack

University of Miami - School of Law; University of Miami - Department of Philosophy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The first section of this paper explains why assessing the worth of expert testimony poses special epistemological difficulties. The second traces the history of the various rules and procedures by means of which the U.S. legal system has tried to ensure, or at least control, the quality of the expert testimony on which it so often relies — from the Frye Rule, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Daubert trilogy to recent constitutional cases regarding the appearance of forensic witnesses in court and experiments with court-appointed experts and scientific education for judges. The third and final section suggests some lessons to be learned from the limited success of these efforts, and explores what might be better strategies going forward.

Keywords: expert testimony, admissibility, Frye Rule, FRE, Daubert trilogy, forensic sciences, NRC Report, Confrontation Clause, Melendez-Diaz

Suggested Citation

Haack, Susan, The Expert Witness: Lessons from the U.S. Experience (2015). Humana Mente: Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (2015): 39-70; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2712480

Susan Haack (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States
305-284-3541 (Phone)
305-284-6506 (Fax)

University of Miami - Department of Philosophy ( email )

P.O. Box 248054
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4670
United States

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