IADC Files Expert Evidence Comment

August 4, 2020 03:51 PM

The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) has filed a comment with the federal judiciary’s Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules and its Rule 702 Subcommittee in support of amending Rule 702 and its comments to achieve more robust and consistent judicial gatekeeping. 

The comment points out that too many courts - especially the Eighth and Ninth Circuits – have expressly adopted standards that facilitate the admission of flimsy expert evidence, usually by reasoning that challenges to the expert’s methods are challenges to the weight the evidence should receive rather than its admissibility. The comment discusses the talc and Roundup™ litigations as recent examples where science in the courtroom seems increasingly divorced from the mainstream scientific consensus outside the courtroom. 

The IADC proposes an amendment to Rule 702 to reinforce the plaintiffs’ burden of proving the admissibility of the evidence by a preponderance of the evidence.  The comment cautions that the rule of law and credibility of the civil justice system will suffer along with the nation’s competitiveness if outcomes in the courts appear arbitrary.

To read IADC's filed comment, click here.

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