Missouri says yes to Daubert


Not long after the Florida Supreme Court rejected an amendment to the state's evidence code that would have adopted the Daubert standard, Missouri took the opposite approach.

The state’s governor recently signed into law a bill in favor of testing the admissibility of expert opinions based on Daubert. The move by the governor apparently is the first in several major tort reform measures he hopes to accomplish during his term. Until now, Missouri was one of a very few states that regulated admissibility by statute (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 490.065). Under the governing statute, facts or data upon which an expert based an opinion had to "be of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject and must be otherwise reasonably reliable." 

The parties urging the adoption of Daubert included industry groups, the state’s Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. According to the proponents, the new standard would improve the reliability of expert witness testimony. Daubert, they said, was the “best practice standard” in that it required a judge to serve as gatekeeper to the admission of “sound science." Critics, on the other hand, cautioned that the new standard would only make lawsuits more costly and longer for the parties. Further, judges were quite capable of keeping "junk science" out of the courtroom. The opponents lost the fight over Daubert.

Extra:  Find more on Daubert case law, sample motions, valuation practice tips, and check lists in Daubert Challenges: The Courts Raise the Bar.


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