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Reference to other standard principles attendant to

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reference to other standard principles attendant to the particular area ofexpertise. The trial judge in all cases of proffered expert testimony must findthat it is properly grounded, well-reasoned, and not speculative before it canbe admitted. The expert’s testimony must be grounded in an accepted body oflearning or experience in the expert’s field, and the expert must explain howthe conclusion is so grounded. See, e.g., American College of Trial Lawyers,Standards and Procedures for Determining the Admissibility of ExpertTestimony after Daubert, 157 F.R.D. 571, 579 (1994) (“[W]hether thetestimony concerns economic principles, accounting standards, propertyvaluation or other non-scientific subjects, it should be evaluated by referenceto the ‘knowledge and experience’ of that particular field.”).The amendment requires that the testimony must be the product of reliableprinciples and methods that are reliably applied to the facts of the case. Whilethe terms “principles” and “methods” may convey a certain impression whenapplied to scientific knowledge, they remain relevant when applied totestimony based on technical or other specialized knowledge. For example,when a law enforcement agent testifies regarding the use of code words in adrug transaction, the principle used by the agent is that participants in suchtransactions regularly use code words to conceal the nature of their activities.The method used by the agent is the application of extensive experience to
analyze the meaning of the conversations. So long as the principles andmethods are reliable and applied reliably to the facts of the case, this type oftestimony should be admitted.Nothing in this amendment is intended to suggest that experience alone—orexperience in conjunction with other knowledge, skill, training or education—may not provide a sufficient foundation for expert testimony. To the contrary,the text of Rule 702 expressly contemplates that an expert may be qualifiedon the basis of experience. In certain fields, experience is the predominant, ifnot sole, basis for a great deal of reliable expert testimony. See, e.g., UnitedStates v. Jones, 107 F.3d 1147 (6th Cir. 1997) (no abuse of discretion inadmitting the testimony of a handwriting examiner who had years of practicalexperience and extensive training, and who explained his methodology indetail); Tassin v. Sears Roebuck, 946 F.Supp. 1241, 1248 (M.D.La. 1996)(design engineer’s testimony can be admissible when the expert’s opinions“are based on facts, a reasonable investigation, and traditionaltechnical/mechanical expertise, and he provides a reasonable link betweenthe information and procedures he uses and the conclusions he reaches”).See also Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 119 S.Ct. 1167, 1178 (1999) (statingthat “no one denies that an expert might draw a conclusion from a set ofobservations based on extensive and specialized experience.”).

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Term
Fall
Professor
N/A
Tags
Evidence law, FRE

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