Missouri Adopts Daubert Standard for Expert Witness Testimony
May 8, 2017 •
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) recently approved legislation enacting the Daubert standard for Missouri’s admission of scientific expert testimony. The legislation, House Bill 153 provides the same standards for trial evidence that are currently required in federal courts and 40 other states. The Daubert standard requires not only that an expert use reliable scientific principles and methods, but also that those principles and methods be properly applied to the particular facts of each case.
ACA is a strong proponent of Daubert — a stricter test for the admissibility of expert testimony in product liability cases — as the paradigm for a national standard for admissibility of scientific expert testimony.
To protect against the use of “junk science” in the courtroom, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a series of rulings in the 1990s — known as the Daubert trilogy — instructing trial courts to act as gatekeepers to only allow relevant and reliable scientific evidence to be presented to a jury.
Advocacy for adoption and adherence to the Daubert standard has been the focus of several ACA amicus briefs. Through its Amicus and Legal Tracking System program, ACA chooses select prominent cases each year in which it files an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief as a show of support for issues that can adversely impact the industry. Specifically, the Amicus Program seeks to prevent court decisions that establish bad precedent, or to overturn such precedent where it currently exists, and to advance the legal protection of property due process and liberties that rightfully belong to good faith corporate interests and behavior. Since the program’s 2007 inception, ACA has filed some more than 50 amicus briefs.
ACA finds the national trend towards adoption of the Daubert standard promising. Late in 2016, the District of Columbia’s highest court, the D.C. Court of Appeals, adopted the Daubert standard. The court In Motorola, Inc. v. Murray, the D.C. Court of Appeals stated that adopting the Daubert standard will lead “to better decision-making by juries and trial judges alike.”
Contact ACA’s Tom Graves for more information.