Is Expert Testimony Based on Independent Research Admissible ?
In v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469, 113 S. Ct. 2786, the Supreme Court asserted that judges, when faced with an offer of expert testimony, must make a preliminary assessment of whether the expert testimony reflects scientific knowledge and an assessment of whether there is a connection between the testimony and the issues in the case.
Some of the factors judges should consider are:
(1) whether the theory or technique in question can be tested or has been tested;
(2) whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication;
(3) whether its potential rate of error is known and is the rate of error statistically significant and acceptable;
(4) general or widespread acceptance within the scientific community.
Some courts will also consider a fifth factor-whether the expert's opinion was the product of independent research or was developed solely for the purposes of testifying.