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Bloomberg Law: “Expert Evidence Rule Will Be Tool to Improve Scientific Testimony”

news | November 27, 2023

Hollingsworth LLP’s Eric Lasker, Elyse Shimada, and Shannon Proctor say Federal Rule of Evidence 702 amendments create an opportunity for courts to correct past errors and strengthen scientific evidence in litigation in an article published by Bloomberg Law. The team asserts that widespread recalcitrance by many federal courts to correctly exercise their gatekeeping responsibility against unreliable expert evidence will finally be addressed when amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 go into effect December 1.

Moreover, Lasker, Shimada, and Proctor contend that the new language will provide a strong foundation for more stringent application of Rule 702 than has been followed by many courts in the past. In addition to reviewing the rule’s amended language for guidance, practitioners should look to the Advisory Committee note explaining the amendments, and to eight years of committee deliberations.

The amended rule and corresponding committee note and drafting history provide tools to fight back against scientific skepticism. It puts the courts in a place where they should be—screening out science that’s speculative or not reliable. With the Rule 702 amendments in place, counsel must educate courts on the new rule language and Advisory Committee guidance in order to protect jurors from unreliable expert testimony in the courtroom.

Subscribers may view the story online at Bloomberg Law.