Expert Witness Standards Act Exposed

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The Expert Witness Standards Act does not include adoption or approval information. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Bill Text

A. General Rule. Testimony in the form of an opinion concerning a scientific, technical or medical matter is admissible if and only if the court determines that the opinion:

(i) is based on scientific knowledge,
(ii) will help the finder of fact resolve a factual issue, and
(iii) is presented by a witness who is qualified as an expert.

B. Scientific knowledge. An opinion is based on scientific knowledge if and only if the opinion necessarily follows from a scientific theory developed in accord with the scientific method. In determining whether a scientific theory has been developed in accord with the scientific method, the court shall consider:

(i) whether the scientific theory has been or is capable of being experimentally tested and if so, the result of those experiments;
(ii) whether the scientific theory and supporting experiments have been published in the peer-reviewed literature;
(iii) whether the experimental results have been replicated by different laboratories and different researchers; and
(iiii) whether the scientific theory is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community

C. Helpfulness to fact finder. An opinion is helpful for purpose of paragraph A, if an only if the court determines:

(i) That the relationship between the opinion, and the supporting scientific theory and experiments are sufficiently close and congruent so as not to render the opinion speculative,
(ii) that the opinion may be validly and reliably drawn from the theory, and
(iii) that an opinion contrary to the one proffered cannot follow if the underlying theory is correct.

D. Techniques and Methods. In the event that an opinion is based on various techniques or methods, those techniques or methods must have been developed in accord with scientific method, must rely on an underlying theory, and that theory and the techniques and methods must be evaluated by the court in light of the criteria set forth in B, above.

E. Expertise in the Field. Testimony in the form of an opinion by a witness that is based on scientific, technical or medical knowledge shall be inadmissible in evidence unless the witness’s knowledge, skill experience, training, education, or other expertise lies in the particular field about which such witness is testifying.

F. Disqualification. Testimony by a witness who is qualified as described in subsection (A) is inadmissible in evidence if such witness is entitled to receive any compensation contingent on the legal disposition of any claim with respect to which such testimony is offered.