In his commentary "Expert Witnesses: Legal Legionnaires,"1 ... Dr. Deftos is correct regarding the broad discretion (and responsibility) given trial court judges by the Daubert ruling and its follow-on rulings. But his statement leads one to believe it is he who has it backward. It was the Frye ruling of 1923, not the Daubert ruling, which established the "general acceptance" standard for scientific expert testimony in court. In the Daubert ruling, the Supreme Court specifically repudiates the Frye standard, declaring it superseded (in federal courts) by the Federal Rules of Evidence, which are widely held to place a far more liberal standard for expert testimony than the previous Frye standard. Frye required scientific testimony to be "generally accepted by the relevant scientific community," in essence, firmly established as one of the best or only ways something is done, and in common usage. The essence of Daubert is that any...

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