Early Returns: 60 Days of New Fed. R. Evid. 702 in Product Liability Litigation

Bloomberg Law

Jessica Davidson Jordan M. Schwartz Luis Chu

Partner Jessica Davidson, counsel Jordan Schwartz and associate Luis Chu discuss last December’s amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 — the first substantive changes to the rules governing the admissibility of expert evidence in 23 years. The changes clarify that:

  • The burden is on the proponents of the testimony to prove the admissibility of their experts’ opinions by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • Challenges to the reliability of those opinions are matters for courts as gatekeepers of expert evidence, not questions of weight that should be decided by jurors.

Courts have already begun to weigh in, and the early results suggest the amendment presents significant opportunities for challenging expert evidence, especially in cases involving allegedly defective products.

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