The District of Columbia Court of Appeals, in an en banc decision, ended the application of
the Frye test for determination of the admissibility of expert testimony and adopted the
standards of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. In Motorola Inc. v. Murray, Case No.
14-CV- 1350, 2016 WL 6134870 (D.C. 2016), entered on October 20, 2016, the Court concluded
that Rule 702 was preferable, due to its focus on the reliability of principles and methods and
whether they have been reliably applied
The Frye “general acceptance” test has been superseded by Rule 702 in the Federal courts
and many other jurisdictions, beginning with the 1993 Supreme Court Case of Daubert v.
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Daubert’s list of specific factors to be considered in
evaluating expert testimony applies to testimony based on scientific knowledge as well as
technical or other specialized knowledge.
Under Rule 702, as applied in Daubert, a witness may be qualified as an expert if (1) the
testimony will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue, (2)
the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, (3) the testimony is the product of reliable
principles and methods, and (4) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to
Rule 702 will be applied to the trial of any civil or criminal case in the District of Columbia
courts that proceeds to trial after the date of the opinion, October 20, 2016.
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