Expert Witness Rules

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Psychological treatment records still privileged in GA

Psychological records from therapy sessions prepared in the course of treatment are still privileged. See Supreme Court opinion below.

Testimony of treating physicians under Daubert

Admissibility of expert testimony in both federal and state courts in Georgia is now governed by the Daubert standards. See Federal Rule of Evidence 702; O.C.G.A § 24-9-67.1 (effective 2/16/05); Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993); General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136, … Continue Reading

Retroactive application of new expert rules unconstitutional

Daubert may not apply in pending cases where parties already invested in experts under old rules.
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Georgia enactment of Daubert may be unconstitutional

Widely different expert witness rules for three classes of cases raise equal protection & due process questions.
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Daubert – Scientific Misconceptions Among Gatekeepers

Critics of Daubert see science as a contentious process, rather than a a set of universal facts deduced by logic, and argue that courts are now demanding more of individual scientists and engineers than is expected of them in their own research and practice. A synthesis of the two views of science can be achieved … Continue Reading

Daubert – Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions

As Georgia lawyers and judges wander into the quagmire of the Daubert Trilogy, we must look behind the curtain of the Wizard of Oz and begin to learn something of the epistomology of science. Insofar as the Daubert decision is based largely upon the Justice Brennan’s summary of the Karl Popper’s premise of theory-testing through … Continue Reading

How to live with Daubert in Georgia courts

For years Georgia lawyers practicing primarily in state rather than federal courts were able to avoid the budensome, expensive and sometimes absurd requirements of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993), and its progeny. Now, however, the dam has broken and all civil cases involving expert testimony … Continue Reading

Daubert — how are judges to judge science?

Beginning with Chief Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Daubert, there has been concern about trying to turn trial judges into "amateur scientists" despite their lack of preparation for evaluating scientific theories, methodology, and the social and institutional context in which the work of science is performed. Clearly, trial lawyers and judges must learn enough about science … Continue Reading

Georgia tort reform — Daubert adopted in civil cases only

Georgia’s tort reform bill (SB 3, effective in all pending cases effective 2/16/05) includes the adoption of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 regarding expert testimony, in civil cases only. Some have observed that “junk science” is now good enough to support capital punishment in Georgia, but not good enough to require an insurance company … Continue Reading