Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Experts — “The Trial Court Ought Not Transform a Daubert Hearing into a Trial on the Merits” — Daubert in Bench Trials (Good Quote)

In re Texas Grand Prairie Hotel Realty, LLC (Wells Fargo Bank N.A. v. Texas Grand Prairie Hotel Realty, LLC), 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4514 (5th Cir. March 1, 2013):

We review a trial court's decision to admit expert testimony for abuse of discretion. As read by Daubert, Rule 702 requires trial courts to ensure that proffered expert testimony is "not only relevant, but reliable." To determine reliability, the trial court must make a "preliminary assessment of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony is scientifically valid and of whether that reasoning or methodology can properly be applied to the facts in issue." Two cautions signify: the trial court ought not "transform a Daubert hearing into a trial on the merits," [Pipitone v. Biomatrix Inc., 288 F.3d 239, 250 (5th Cir. 2002)] and "most of the safeguards provided for in Daubert are not as essential in a case . . . where a district judge sits as the trier of fact in place of a jury." [Gibbs v. Gibbs, 210 F.3d 491, 500 (5th Cir. 2000).]

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