Who's Watching the Gate? The Recent Evolution of Frye in The Toxic Exposure Arena

Articles & Publications

August 25, 2006

This article also appeared in HarrisMartin´s Columns Silica, August 2006 Issue   Medical causation, a difficult enough subject in itself, has for the past 13 years been complicated by the differing standards for admissibility of expert testimony. The Frye "general acceptance" admissibility standard,1 which the U. S. Supreme Court shaped in 1923, created the initial "court as the gatekeeper" function that reigned for almost three quarters of a century. Redefining the gatekeeper in its 1993 Daubert decision, the U.S. Supreme Court obliged federal courts to follow a new expert admissibility standard.2 State courts, however, were left to decide whether to switch to the Daubert test or stay with Frye. Since that watershed moment, several states have continued their reverence to Frye,3 as many other states have chosen to follow Daubert or a combination of the two.

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