Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Motions for a Daubert Challenge of an Expert Witness

     By HG.org

It is important to succeed in a Daubert challenge when the expert witness may face disqualification and knowing what types of motions are possible may increase the possibility of a positive outcome to the challenge. It is essential to first identify when the challenge will happen and when the opposing legal team deems it necessary for the case.

The Daubert Challenge

When an expert faces a Daubert challenge, he or she is a considerable problem for the case because of testing methods, error rates or relevance to the subject matter. When these items lack the necessary relevance or reliability, the opposing lawyer may file certain motions to issue the challenge or to assist in disqualifying the professional from the case. Based on error rates that are variable, testing results confirmed to have issues or a lack of relevant field of study by the expert for the subject matter, it is less difficult to remove the professional as a designated expert witness.

Identifying the Need for a Daubert Challenge

The challenge itself is not often necessary depending on the expert and type of case. Then, it is important to know when to issue the challenge and the need for one within the context of the expert and his or her possible testimony. Excluding or admitting testimony depends greatly on the success or failure of the Daubert challenge. The legal team and judge will need to determine how to evaluate and review the material. Issuing the challenge is sometimes not possible when the expert appears fully competent and does not fall within certain criteria for a possible challenge.

The Different Motions

There are several motions possible involved in a Daubert challenge. These may include a separate motion, one as part of the summary judgment, a motion in limine, an objection through a problem with testimony and a post-trial motion. These may happen at different times, and the opposing legal team is able to issue a Daubert challenge no matter where the trail or case is and what stage the proceedings currently exist in. The other lawyer may want to issue the Daubert challenge earlier than later to prevent possible complications with too much influence from the expert witness.

The separate motion for the challenge may raise concerns about a specific issue with the testimony. The legal team may have issues with the reliability of testing methods or the results the expert garners from the testing. Some problems exist in the opinions based on the results when the error rate fluctuates too much for the reliable understanding of the connection to the evidence. When the error rate is above the standard scientific five percent, the expert may have faulty facts to base his or her opinions on, and this could lead to a challenge against the consistency of the data.

Pursuing a Motion

Depending on the situation, the legal team may file one motion over another. However, while it is possible to pursue a motion for a Daubert challenge, it is important to initiate the objection or motion early to avoid angering the judge. The challenge itself may delay the case and cause complications with the legal team or testimony. This may require one action and motion over another. The lawyer or expert should consider certain scenarios as applied to these circumstances specifically. Then, it is up to the expert to succeed in the challenge or the lawyer to pursue a motion that successfully disqualifies the expert.

Considering the Motion

It is possible to avoid the hearing with a Daubert challenge in front of a panel of jury members by filing a separate motion or a motion in limine. This motion presents the ability to challenge the expert without the jury and to contest the testimony, fact issues with the case or for various considerations with the expert attached. This avoids the hearing and any added time to the challenge and case. With this motion or a separate motion, the legal team may increase the chances of excluding certain testimony. Inadmissible testimony of an expert could lead to the full disqualification of the professional for reliability or relevance issues.

The Expert and the Challenge

Depending on the motion filed, the expert may need to quickly recover from the complication. The legal team attacking him or her through the motion will usually raise the objection early. Working with the lawyer that hired the professional, it is possible to defend with various strategies and through reliable testing methods and a complete relevant field of study to the case.

Copyright HG.org


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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