Maryland Adopts Daubert Standard for Expert Testimony


Goodell DeVries's appellate practice group helped make Maryland legal history today. In a landmark ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals expressly adopted the Daubert standard for judges weighing the admissibility of expert testimony. See Rochkind v. Stevenson, Case No. 47, September Term, 2019 (Aug. 28, 2020).

Goodell DeVries partners Thomas J. Cullen, Jr., Constantine J. “Gus” Themelis, and Derek M. Stikeleather persuaded the Court to formally recognize that the evolution of Maryland evidence law warranted formal adoption of the Daubert standard and retirement of the Frye-Reed test. The Reed court had adopted Frye in 1978, but Maryland courts had long struggled to harmonize Frye-Reed with Maryland Rule 5-702, which was enacted in 1994. Today’s ruling resolves the confusion by reducing the two overlapping tests to one well-recognized and flexible test. It clearly sets the threshold that proposed expert witnesses must meet under Rule 5-702 in any civil or criminal proceeding in Maryland where the rules of evidence apply.

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