In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), the Supreme Court revamped the standards for admitting opinion testimony in federal court. The court construed Federal Rule of Evidence 702 as announcing a new reliability test for the admissibility of expert testimony. In one passage in his lead opinion, Justice Blackmun referred to “the ‘liberal thrust’ of the federal rules and their ‘general approach of relaxing the traditional barriers to opinion testimony.’ ” Id. at 588. In another, he mentioned “ the Rules’ permissive” tone. Id. at 589.

IRONICALLY, ‘DAUBERT’ HAS TOUGHENED STANDARDS

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