Weisgram v. marley | Law homework help


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It is interesting that until 1993 the courts followed the standard set forth in Frye versus US which happened in 1923. This would obviously change in 1993 in Daubert vs. Merrell Dow.

Take a look at Weisgram v. Marley Co., 528 U.S. 440. 

Do you agree and disagree with the Court’s ruling?

Weisgram v. Marley Co., 528 U.S. 440

After a trial in which the plaintiff’s entire case relied on one expert witness, the defendant was denied judgment as a matter of law and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit. The appellate court considered the plaintiff’s expert and found that he was unreliable under Daubert. Excluding his testimony, the court granted judgment for the defendant, without giving the plaintiff the chance to give the plaintiff a chance to try to case again with a different expert. The plaintiff argued on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that this violated their right to fairness because the expert had not been excluded until after the trial. In response the Court stated the following:

Since Daubert, moreover, parties relying on expert evidence have had notice of the exacting standards of reliability such evidence must meet. 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469; see also Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 119 S.Ct. 1167, 143 L.Ed.2d 238 (1999) (rendered shortly after the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Weisgram’s case);12General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136, 118 S.Ct. 512, 139 L.Ed.2d 508 (1997). It is implausible to suggest, post-Daubert, that parties will initially present less than their best expert evidence in the expectation of a second chance should their first try fail. We therefore find unconvincing Weisgram’s fears that allowing courts of appeals to direct the entry of judgment for defendants *456 will punish plaintiffs who could have shored up their cases by other means had they known their expert testimony would be found inadmissible. See Brief for Petitioner 18, 25. In this case, for example, although Weisgram was on notice every step of the way that Marley was challenging his experts, he made no attempt to add or substitute other evidence. [3]

In sum, the Court faulted the plaintiff for relying on only one expert witness when they had notice that the expert’s qualifications under Daubert were in question.

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