Featured Expert Column—Judicial Gatekeeping of Expert Evidence
In a victory for keeping junk science out of courtrooms, Missouri recently enacted H.B. 153, which adopts the Daubert standard.
H.B. 153 establishes four criteria for an expert witness’s testimony:
(1) The expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (2) The testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (3) The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (4) The expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
These criteria mirror Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and the Daubert standard.
Although H.B. 153 applies broadly, it is not universally applicable. It does not apply in certain family and juvenile court proceedings. In addition, H.B. 153 does not permit an expert witness in a criminal case to testify “whether the defendant did or did not have a mental state or condition that constitutes an element of the crime charged or of a defense.” Continue reading