Expert Evidence Review: S.B. 187 (2011)


Adopts the Daubert standard and a later US Supreme Court

Adopts the Daubert standard and a later US Supreme Court decision, Joiner.  Together these cases established a framework for admitting scientific expert testimony in order to preclude introduction of “junk science” into courtrooms.  The federal three-part test for courts to use in determining whether to admit scientific expert testimony has been adopted in full and allows the courts to exclude unreliable testimony or even testimony that may draw from reliable procedures and principles, but whose conclusions are unsupportable.  This permits the full breadth of Daubert and Joiner to now be applied in Alabama courtrooms as it is in all federal courtrooms and a majority of other states.  The compromise that was reached in S.B. 187 does not adopt the Daubert progeny called Kumho, which extends these rules to non-scientific expert testimony.  Also exempted were certain criminal and domestic relations cases.  However, nothing precludes the courts in Alabama from later extending these rules to such testimony.

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