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The Champion

June 2007 , Page 18 

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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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