Sister blog Global Investigations and Compliance Review posted a very read-worthy recent blog authored by our colleagues Marisa Darden, Ayako Russell and Jay Thomas. Addressing proposed changes to the Federal Rule of Evidence 702 standards regarding the admissibility of expert witness opinions, the post is a must read for anyone involved in or concerned with IP (or any other civil) litigation in the U.S. The post elucidates the twin goals of the proposed amendments.
First, the amendments clarify that the proponent of expert testimony bears the burden of establishing its admissibility by a preponderance of the evidence. The Advisory Committee deemed doing so necessary because courts have tended to err on the side of admissibility. Second, the amendments are intended to curtail a tendency among district courts to liberally admit expert testimony and then instruct jurors to assign weight to the testimony – instead of rigorously exercising the court’s gatekeeping role.
As the post concludes, the proposed amendments – which would take effect at the end of this year if approved – would have an important impact on trials and counsel’s planning for both direct and cross examination of experts.