Legal Memorandum: Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony

Issue: Under federal law, how does a court determine whether the proffered testimony of an expert witness will assist the trier of fact?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Expert testimony, admissibility; Trier of fact; Helpfulness standard
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 509 U.S. 579
Cited Statutes: Rule 702
Date: 03/01/2015

Rule 702’s requires that expert testimony must “fit” the issues in the case.  “In other words, the expert’s testimony must be relevant for the purposes of the case and must assist the trier of fact.”  Schneider v. Fried, 320 F.3d 396, 404 (3d Cir. 2003).  As the Supreme Court noted in Daubert, “Rule 702’s ‘helpfulness’ standard requires a valid scientific connection to the pertinent inquiry as a precondition to admissibility.”  Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579, 113 S. Ct. 2786, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469 (1993).


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