Expert Witnesses Are Called Upon Term Paper

[4] In connection with expert witnesses and evidence, the most significant has been the Daubert case of 1993. Prior to this case, federal and state court judges had only two standards on which to determine the admissibility of evidence. The first one was relevance and the other was known as Fyre standard according to which only scientific information, which was generally accepted by the community, would be admitted. Opponents of Fyre standard argued that there were still new and emerging ideas in science, which were legitimate but not yet accepted by everyone. However Fyre standard could not be removed since relevance alone could not determine the admissibility factor since there was always a risk of allowing junk science.

In Daubert, Supreme Court instructed the federal judges to act as "gatekeepers" and allow only the evidence which was both "relevant and reliable." [5] This was done to keep junk science out which had once been broadly described as "the mirror image of real science, with much of the same form but none of the substance....It is a hodgepodge of biased data, spurious inference, and logical legerdemain

It is a catalog of every conceivable kind of error: data dredging, wishful thinking, truculent dogmatism, and, now and again, outright fraud." [6]

However while Daubert standard was a well-intentioned attempt to control the influx of junk science, it has since then been routinely misused...


Some jurists are dismayed by the standards applied under Daubert:
the Daubert opinion appears politically naive about the 'methods and procedures' of both science and evidentiary admissibility," wrote Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Stanley Feldman, in a case in which expert testimony had been excluded in a lower court. "Multi-factored, 'flexible' tests of the sort announced in Daubert are more likely to produce arbitrary results than they are to produce nuanced treatment of complex questions of admissibility." [7]

Expert witnesses are thus qualified persons whose opinion and evidence are regularly sought during various trials. Over the years the definition and scope of expert evidence have altered but the need for expert witnesses has not changed.

Sources Used in Documents:


1] Brown, David B., et al., "The Expert Medical Witness in the State of Michigan: A Cause for Concern," (2005) 9 Journal of Medicine and Law, at 279.

2] Anderson, Glenn R., Expert Evidence (Markham: Lexis Nexis, 2005) at page 10.

3] Anderson, Glenn R., Expert Evidence (Markham: LexisNexis, 2005), supra note 64, at page 15.

4] Anderson, Glenn R., Expert Evidence, (Markham, LexisNexis, 2005), at page 15

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