A Daubert challenge is when the opinion of your expert witness is challenged due to the reasoning behind the opinion and how the opinion was formed. This can be devastating to even the most well-prepared cases. If a case is relying on expert testimony from a professional witness and that testimony has potentially been thrown out, there is a lot of work to do to make up for the lost testimony. Though we do not provide legal advice, read through these tips on what happens when there is a Daubert challenge presented. If you are looking for a team of expert witnesses, contact APEXpert Witness.
Prepare for a Daubert Challenge Before it Occurs
There is a good chance that the opposing counsel will raise this objection to your witness in any case, so being prepared for this before it happens is a good start. To help prevent a challenge from being held up by the judge, look for a witness who has the most experience with the details of the case. When the judge is looking at the expert testimony, the opinion must be formed using information that has been tested, peer reviewed, looked at for rates of error, and is accepted in the scientific community. Being upfront with your professional witness will ensure that there aren’t any surprises.
Look Into all Parts of a Daubert Challenge
When there is a Daubert challenge, being thoroug in responding to all questions will help in the challenge being thrown out. Provide all of the documentation, studies, and articles that were used in forming the witness’s opinion. The challenge will be upheld if the questions were not addressed fully. One of the reasons a Daubert challenge may be raised is if there are competing studies around the same field and your witness has chosen one over the other. Have your witness explain why they chose that study and how it better fits with your specific case. In the end, if your expert witness can explain thoroughly and is interesting and relatable, the judge may favor that.
The Judge is The Decision-Maker
These challenge hearings will always be held in front of the judge without a jury present at all, so the judge is the one making a final decision. The attorney will need to know exactly what the expert’s credentials are and what was used to form their opinion. Their opinion needs to be based on studies and research that is prevalent and well known in the scientific community. This information will need to be given to the judge in a clear and concise manner so that it is understandable.
Testimony Must be Within the Expert’s Specialty
The big difference is when experts have a specialty and they are thoroughly knowledgeable of that specialty, and when they just have general knowledge of an area. When an expert begins to form an opinion on something outside of their specialty, this could turn into a Daubert challenge. The witness’ opinion and expertise must relate specifically to the key points of the case.
When Was The Challenge Raised?
Your team of lawyers must have enough time to respond to the Daubert challenge. If all of the documentation regarding how an opinion was formed was submitted to the court and opposing counsel raised a Daubert challenge at the last minute, the challenge may be thrown out due to lack of time. This can be dependent on the jurisdiction; however, if a challenge was raised too close to the trial, noting how much time you had to respond could affect the case by the testimony being admissible.
The Judge Is A Gatekeeper
When a Daubert challenge is raised, the judge is deciding whether or not expert testimony should be admissible due to how the opinion was formed and the expert’s credentials are related to the case. The jury decides if the information is pertinent to the facts of the case.
For trustworthy and reliable medical expert testimony, contact APEXpert Witness. You can be sure that our credentials are sound and that we have the needed knowledge and experience within our specialties to assess your case. If you need a professional witness for your medical trial, see our list of specialties here and contact us today to get started.