Expert Witnesses & Reports – Part 2

In Expert Witnesses and Reports, Manuel Lopez and David Chaumette of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. write:

The practical effect of Robinson in Texas has been an increase in the scrutiny of expert testimony. Even popular media coverage has identified the 1993 Daubert decision as a severe restriction on expert testimony. See, e.g., Laura Parker, Yates Trial Highlights Power of an Expert Witness, USA TODAY,June 20, 2006 (quoting a well-respected defense lawyer as saying “[b]efore the (1993) decision, I was seeing the most outlandish testimony. People with no credentials offered conclusions without explaining themselves ….”). Ironically, the Supreme Court intended Daubert to represent a less restrictive test for the admissibility of expert testimony than the prior “general acceptance” test used in federal courts. Daubert, 509 U.S. at 588 (“a rigid ‘general acceptance’ requirement would be at odds with the ‘liberal thrust’ of the Federal Rules and their ‘general approach of relaxing the traditional barriers to ‘opinion’ testimony.”) (citations omitted). Nevertheless, in Texas, courts have taken seriously their gatekeeper function under Robinson.