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NLJ : Eric Lasker Says 702 Rule Change Should Set Courts on Correct Path Going Forward

news | October 20, 2023

Hollingsworth LLP partner Eric Lasker was recently interviewed by The National Law Journal regarding the pending amendments to Federal Rule 702 of Evidence and the potential impact to both future and past litigation.

Amendments to Rule 702, which deals with expert testimony, are set to become effective on December 1. Recently, lawyers on both sides of the talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson debated the impact of the upcoming amendments to Rule 702. Defense counsel have applauded the rule change, which they believe will ensure courts embrace their gatekeeping role when it comes to expert testimony, while the plaintiffs’ bar has insisted the amendments are unnecessary and shifting into unconstitutional territory by limiting the role of juries.

Lasker, who has been advocating for a change since 2015, said in addition to the amendments set to go into effect in December, the advisory committee that finalized the change has added a note stating an update was needed after more than 20 years of some courts misapplying Rule 702.

“Not only is Rule 702 being approved for the future, but it means that there is a significant body of case law that courts have been relying upon or that courts have been issuing in the past that are just wrong,” Lasker said. “So this rule change is going to really create a bright line for courts and hopefully set them on the correct path going forward.”

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