February 18, 2022

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Expert Opinion Based on Unjustified Analogy

Faegre Drinker on Products Blog

In the space of a single paragraph, General Electric Co. v. Joiner softened Daubert’s comment that a court’s assessment of expert opinion admissibility should focus “solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions that they generate” and gave us two of the most heavily quoted snippets in this area of law: opinions are inadmissible when supported “only by the ipse dixit of the expert,” and courts may exclude opinions for which “there is simply too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered.” 522 U.S. 136 (1997). Joiner’s call to assess an expert’s factual basis and reasoning was incorporated into the text of Rule 702 itself via the 2000 amendments. Regrettably though, some courts have continued to ignore gaps in an expert’s reasoning, quoting Daubert and other pre-Joiner precedent for the proposition that a court should leave disputes over such fact-based issues for a jury to decide — the very argument that Joiner rejected.

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