House Passes Bill to Modify Expert Witness Standards in Court

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Legislation Aimed at Reducing Frivolous Lawsuits

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The Arizona House of Representatives today passed a bill that modifies the state’s standards in terms of expert witness reform to help reduce frivolous lawsuits. HB 2492 seeks to adopt a standard decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrel Dow Pharmaceutical in 1993, known as the “Daubert standard.”

“It’s critical for Arizona to have similar court standards to other states. This is particularly important for businesses that may not want to operate in Arizona due to the additional cost of defending lawsuits that would have no merit in neighboring states,” said Rep. Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, who sponsored the bill. “Adopting the Daubert standard will help improve our state’s business climate and allow companies to spend less on litigation and insurance, while investing more in growth and jobs.”

Since 1923, U.S. federal courts have relied upon the Frye v. U.S. decision, which stated that expert testimony must be based on science that has gained “general acceptance” in the relevant field. The Daubert standard, established in federal courts and in 37 states, includes the court opinion of four guidelines for judges to consider when examining a testimony’s merits.


Comments

  1. Our AZ state legislature has introduced some good legislation recently, I count this bill in that group. But what about those frivolous lawsuits against Sheriff Joe? I hope this applies there as well. But …now that Arpaio says he’ll run for governor, its painful to think that the Board of Supervisors will pick his replacement. Who out there can cope as Maricopa County sheriff?

Leave a Reply