The state of Utah does not follow the Daubert or Frye for the admissibility of expert witness testimony, but instead follows the Rimmasch test. Haupt v. Heaps, 131 P.3d 252 (Utah Ct. App. 2005). The Rimmasch test focuses on the reliability of the expert’s testimony, particularly in cases where the expert utilized “novel scientific principles or techniques” to reach its conclusions. Id. The Rimmasch test has been embodied by Utah’s Rule of Evidence, Rule 702, which stands as the overarching rule for the admissibility of expert witness testimony. State v. Sheehan, 273 P.3d 417 (Utah Ct. App. 2012). Utah’s rule of evidence states that testimony is admissible if there is a “threshold showing that the principles or methods that are underlying the testimony (1) are reliable, (2) are based upon sufficient facts or data, and (3) have been reliably applied to the facts.” UTAH R. EVID. 702 (2017). The portion of the rule that embodies the Rimmasch test is (c), and states that the “threshold showing … is satisfied if the underlying principles or methods, including the sufficiency of facts or data and the manner of their application to the facts of the case, are generally accepted by the relevant expert community.” Id.
Is Daubert or Frye used for expert witness testimony admissibility in Utah?
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.