What is Daubert Standard?

Legal Definition
The Daubert standard provides a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses' testimony during United States federal legal proceedings. Pursuant to this standard, a party may raise a Daubert motion, which is a special case of motion in limine raised before or during trial to exclude the presentation of unqualified evidence to the jury. The Daubert trilogy refers to the three United States Supreme Court cases that articulated the Daubert standard:

  • Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, which held in 1993 that Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence did not incorporate the Frye "general acceptance" test as a basis for assessing the admissibility of scientific expert testimony, but that the rule incorporated a flexible reliability standard instead;
  • General Electric Co. v. Joiner, which held that a district court judge may exclude expert testimony when there are gaps between the evidence relied on by an expert and his conclusion, and that an abuse-of-discretion standard of review is the proper standard for appellate courts to use in reviewing a trial court's decision of whether it should admit expert testimony;
  • Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, which held in 1999 that the judge's gatekeeping function identified in Daubert applies to all expert testimony, including that which is non-scientific.

Important appellate-level opinions that clarify the standard include Judge Kozinski's opinion in Daubert on remand (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 43 F.3d 1311 (9th Cir. 1995)), and Judge Becker's opinion in In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Litig., 35 F.3d 717 (3d Cir. 1994).
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Standard used by a trial judge to make a preliminary assessment of whether an expert’s scientific testimony is based on reasoning or methodology that is scientifically valid and can properly be applied to the facts at issue. Under this standard, the factors that may be considered in determining whether the methodology is valid are: (1) whether the theory or technique in question can be and has been tested; (2) whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication; (3) its known or potential error rate; (4) the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation; and (5) whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community. See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The Daubert standard is the test currently used in the federal courts and some state courts. In the federal courts, it replaced the Frye standard.