California’s evidentiary rules have changed. As of January 1, 2024, defense expert testimony in medical causation cases is subject to a higher threshold.
Last year, we previewed impending changes to the federal rule that governs the admissibility of expert testimony: Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 702. Since our last blog post on this topic, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court approved those amendments. And as of December 1, the amendments are in effect. Amended FRE 702 now reads:
A recent order from a federal magistrate judge provides helpful insight to parties concerning the destruction of evidence and the proof required to obtain the ultimate sanction of dismissal of a case as a result of such destruction.
In McLaughlin v. Lenovo Global Tech. (United States) Inc., Magistrate Judge Gail Dein of the District of Massachusetts issued numerous sanctions against plaintiff but decided that dismissal of plaintiff’s case was too harsh a punishment after he wiped his company-issued laptop prior to returning it to defendant.
Last month, the Advisory Committee on Evidence of the Judicial Conference of the United States’ Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure voted to unanimously to recommend certain amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which governs the admissibility of expert witness testimony. This vote signals imminent changes that could significantly affect federal practitioners’ requirements to demonstrate their experts’ reliability.
A proposed amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which governs the admissibility of expert testimony in federal court, could clarify the evidentiary burden on proponents of expert testimony and a court’s role regarding its admissibility. Motions under Rule 702, frequently called Daubert motions after the Supreme Court’s opinion Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., are used to limit or otherwise exclude an expert’s testimony to a jury. These motions are often critical to a case’s success, especially in fields that rely heavily on experts such as antitrust, product liability, toxic torts, and environmental litigation. An amendment to Rule 702 currently under consideration looks to clarify the proper evidentiary standard for such motions.
New York’s unique approach to evidentiary procedure – and specifically, its rules governing admissions by a party opponent’s agent – have frustrated litigators for years. Recent changes to New York’s rules on civil procedure, however, have brought the state’s approach to hearsay more in line with the standard set by the Federal Rules of Evidence. These changes could significantly impact future litigation, especially disputes centered on workplace conduct.