The state of Tennessee follows the Daubert test for expert witness admissibility. Dubois v. Haykal, 165 S.W.3d 634 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2004). Under this test, the trial court should determine whether an expert’s testimony is reliable based on five factors. Id. The factors are: “(1) whether scientific evidence has been tested and the methodology with which it has been tested; (2) whether the evidence has been subjected to peer review or publication; (3) whether a potential rate of error is known; (4) whether … the evidence is generally accepted in the scientific community; and (5) whether the expert’s research in the field has been conducted independent of litigation.” Id. These factors are not exclusive, and the court can utilize them as it sees fit in determining the admissibility of an expert’s testimony. Id. Additionally, if there are conflicting testimonies from experts, the court does not need to determine which is “generally accepted” so long as they are both “based on relevant scientific methods, processes, and data.” Id.
Is Daubert or Frye used for expert witness testimony admissibility in Tennessee?
About the Author: Steve Babitsky
Steven Babitsky, Esq. is the President and founder of SEAK, Inc., the Expert Witness Training Company. He was a personal injury trial attorney for twenty years and is the former managing partner of the firm Kistin, Babitsky, Latimer & Beitman. Steve has helped expert witnesses and their attorneys prepare for deposition in a broad range of cases, including antitrust, patent, medical malpractice, wrongful death, computer forensics, and many others. He has trained the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration, and he has worked with numerous forensic and financial companies including Fortune 500 companies and has worked with numerous experts to help them expand and grow their practices. Mr. Babitsky is the co-author of the texts How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guide to Testifying as an Expert Witness, How to Be a Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A–Z Guide to Expert Witnessing, How to Write an Expert Witness Report, and How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice Evidence-Based Practices. Attorney Babitsky is the co-developer and trainer for the “How to Be an Effective Expert Witness” seminar and has been the seminar leader since 1990 for the Annual National Expert Witness and Litigation Conference. Mr. Babitsky trains hundreds of experts every year. He may be contacted at 508-548-9443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.