Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Marriage to Party Not Disqualifying Under Rule 702, Says 6th Circuit

That an expert is married to the propounding party is irrelevant to the Daubert calculus, an unpublished Sixth Circuit decision has held. The panel reversed the district court's ruling, in which plaintiff's expert in a discrimination suit was barred from testifying on the ground that the expert was the plaintiff's husband and therefore presumptively biased in plaintiff's favor. The error, however, was harmless. See Cole v. Reader's Digest Sales & Servs., Inc., No. 04-1788 (6th Cir. Aug. 5, 2005) (Gibbons, Cook, & Phillips, JJ.).


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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.