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Deconstructing Daubert: Rule 702 and Non-Scientific Evidence
By Jon May
The statistics are startling. The use of experts in trials at all levels, state and federal, has grown exponentially.1
Of course, the appearance of experts at trial is nothing new. Lawyers
have always found ways of making use of the latest scientific
discoveries. As early as the 18th century, doctors were called as
witnesses to present expert testimony regarding sanity.2 But
the nature of the expert testimony offered today is often quite
different from that considered by jurors in the past. The fields of
knowledge are sometimes so arcane that even judges struggle to
understand the principles involved.
As expert testimony became more prevalent, judges came to fear that jurors could be too influenced by such testimony.3
These concerns culminated in the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia in Frye v. United States,4 which held that
the results of a blood pressure test for truthfulness were inadmissible
at trial. According to the Fr
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