Saturday, August 02, 2003

Proposed Model Local Rule on Motions Regarding Expert Evidence

It should properly be considered an anomaly, that no Federal Rule of Civil Procedure specifically governs pretrial motions relating to the admissibility of expert testimony. In light of the pivotal importance such motions often assume in the Daubert era, the omission should perhaps be remedied. Some might prefer to languish in procedural uncertainty, but others might prefer to see the rules spelled out with greater clarity. If fairness, due process, and efficiency happened along as an incidental result, who could complain?

As a service to humanity, therefore, I have devoted a lazy summer afternoon to drafting a proposed model local rule, for which I intend to campaign doggedly, until I prevail or the Nation's boredom with the project becomes too obvious to ignore -- whichever shall first occur.

Mind you, despite my flippant tone, I am utterly serious. Something must be done. Why not offer your views, and get in on the ground floor? Click on the link given above, and you'll see how you can offer your comments and suggestions.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.