Evidence Rule Changes Help Judges Police Expert Testimony

By Michael Leard and Sara Lonks Wong (August 24, 2022, 6:36 PM EDT) — Familiar to federal practitioners throughout the country, Federal Rule of Evidence 702, concerning testimony by expert witnesses, governs the admissibility of expert testimony at trial.

On June 7, the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure voted unanimously to approve two proposed amendments to Rule 702. These proposed amendments will take effect in December 2023, pending approval by the Judicial Conference and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The proposed amendments, discussed more fully below, emphasize the judge’s gatekeeping authority. That is, the amendments reinforce that it is the judge’s role — not the jury’s — to keep so-called junk science,…

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