Legal, Subrogation

Why Daubert and Frye Standards Matter to Expert Witnesses

01 July 2019

Whether a jurisdiction applies Daubert, Frye, or another standard, the ultimate question for an expert or claims professional, is whether their retained expert's testimony will be admissible in court.

Understanding the "ins and outs" of Daubert and Frye is second nature for attorneys, but for an expert or claims professional, fully understanding these standards can be a different story. And moreover, a lack of familiarity with these standards can not only prove to be problematic for experts, but also, and potentially more so, to the client.

We discuss this in more detail in our recent whitepaper.


An Overview of the Standards

In short, the Daubert Standard is used by a judge to determine if the expert's methodology was scientifically valid. The Frye Standard concludes whether or not the method used to determine opinion is generally accepted by experts in the particular field.

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The responsibility (or Standard of Care) to provide expert opinions and testimony lies with one person: the expert.

If operating outside of this mindset, experts might find themselves labeled a "hired gun," continuing the "because I said so" mentality instead of allowing only the most qualified experts to provide testimony. Experts that garner the most respect and trustworthiness in their respective industries are those that recognize their strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly, are transparent to these attributes. These experts are the most effective as they stay within their 'sandbox', elevating expert witnesses collectively as a group and as a profession.

Download the whitepaper to read more and learn:

  • What each method means and what states require which standard.
  • Why experts need to qualify themselves for a case.
  • How experts can end the "hired gun" mentality
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About The Author
Bruce Barnes
Bruce Barnes, MS, PE
Technical Director

Mr. Bruce Barnes is a Technical Director for the Civil/Structural division with over 25 years of engineering experience. His extensive analysis and design experience combined with his educational background enables him to analyze a wide variety of structural problems and failures. He utilizes these analysis and testing skills to frequently formulate and issue construction documents for the repair of structures.

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