Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals: a new standard for scientific evidence in
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
22(3): 309-25, 1994.
The Supreme Court, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow explored the guidelines for admitting "scientific
evidence" by way of expert opinion in legal cases. The Federal Rules of Evidence that were revised
in 1975 did not explicitly mention the Frye standard and thus left it unclear as to what guidelines
should be used by judges in federal courts. The Court held that the Frye rule was superseded by the
new Rules and that the judge had to exercise some gatekeeping functions. An expert with sufficient
credentials and something relevant to say was an insufficient standard. The implications of this
ruling for psychiatric expert testimony are reviewed.