The state of West Virginia follows the Daubert test for the admissibility of expert witness testimony. San Francisco v. Wendy’s Intern., Inc., 656 S.E.2d 734 (W. Va. 2007). Under this test, the court asks: “(1) is the witness an expert; and, if so, (2) is the expert’s testimony relevant and reliable?” Id. To determine this, the court analyzes whether the expert “(a) meets the minimal educational or experiential qualifications (b) in a field that is relevant to the subject under investigation (c) which will assist the trier of fact.” Id. Also, the court must ensure that the expert’s area of expertise includes the field that the expert is supposed to testify to. Id. Factors that the court can consider in this analysis include the expert’s education, experience, knowledge, skill, and training. Id. Once the court determines the expert is qualified, the court then analyzes whether the expert’s opinion is “relevant and reliable.” Id. To determine this, the court should analyze “(a) whether the scientific theory and its conclusions can be and have been tested; (b) whether the scientific theory has been subjected to peer review and publication; (c) whether the scientific theory’s actual or potential rate of error is known; and (d) whether the scientific theory is generally accepted within the scientific community.” Id.
Is Daubert or Frye used for expert witness testimony admissibility in West Virginia?
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.