U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael Case

On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, No. 97-1709, that all types of expert evidence are subject to the relevance and reliability 'gatekeeping' function that the Supreme Court had articulated with respect to scientific evidence in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The Court further held that trial judges have substantial discretion or 'considerable leeway' to determine how to evaluate relevance and reliability and to make a determination on whether to admit the expert evidence.

While this decision will make it more difficult when judges are hostile to the type of expert testimony being offered by plaintiffs, there were some helpful aspects to the Court's opinion that lawyers for plaintiffs should know and emphasize:

The Court's full opinion can be found at here.

Article from: The Association of Trial Lawyers of America

Another perspective:

The Daubert factors may apply to the testimony of engineers and other experts who are not scientists.

[Forensic Sciences Foundation, Inc., Academy News, March 1999:9]