Samuel D. Hatch


Utah’s Rule 702 on the admissibility of expert witness testimony is far too low. Utah trial courts cannot to fulfill their role as gatekeepers because the threshold standard forces them to admit almost everything without ensuring reliability. Accordingly, Utah evidence law will benefit from amending Rule 702 whether it reverts to the federal rule or elects the Minnesota approach. Either is preferred to the almost nonexistent standard currently in place, which has drifted far from the “inherent[ly] reliab[le]” tradition and is no longer “the touchstone of admissibility” in Utah. The State should amend Rule of Evidence 702 to allow judges to make meaningful decisions on the admissibility of expert testimony once again.

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