Here the Supreme Court looked at whether Frye survived the FRE and for the first time specifically looked at scientific expert testimony. The court established that Frye did not survive the FRE. The court attempted to clarify admissibility standards by indicating that the trial judges must act as “gatekeepers” to determine whether the proffered testimony was relevant and reliable (Petroski, H.). The Supreme Court gave “general observations” that a trial judge can consider to help them determine the reliability of the proffered expert testimony. These questions have come to be known as the “Daubert Factors” or the “Daubert Prongs”. These are usually summarized as follows (you should read the Daubert ruling and understand what the court is saying with each question. What is offered below is a summary):

  • Can and has the theory or technique been empirically tested?
  • Has the theory or technique been subjected to peer review and publication?“
  • The court should ordinarily consider the known or potential rate of error and the maintenance of standards controlling the techniques operation”
  • Are the methods and techniques generally accepted within the scientific community?