Home Definition What Is A Daubert Motion (Legal Definition And Examples)

What Is A Daubert Motion (Legal Definition And Examples)

What is a Daubert Motion?

How do you legally define it?

What are the important elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our legal dictionary!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Daubert Motion 

A Daubert Motion is a specific type of motion filed in court proceedings aimed at excluding an expert witness’s testimony.

When a Daubert Motion is filed to exclude expert testimony, the party who intends to admit the expert evidence will need to prove to the court that the expert must be admitted.

Typically, the court will consider the followings elements when evaluating the admission of an expert:

  • Does the expert have a sufficient level of expertise on the subject matter?
  • Has the expert performed expertise based on reliable methodology?

Generally, this type of motion is filed before trial (although it can be filed in trial as well), where a judge is asked to evaluate the admission of an expert witness’s testimony in the court proceedings.

A motion hearing will take place where the parties outline their arguments as to why the testimony should be admitted or why it should be denied.

Ultimately, the court renders a decision.

Daubert Motion definition

What is the legal definition of a Daubert Motion?

A Daubert Motion is a specific type of motion in limine filed in the context of legal proceedings where a party requests the exclusion of an expert witness’s testimony.

The name “Daubert” comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) where the court was required to render a judgment on the admission of expert testimony.

Analysis of Daubert Motion 

When evaluating the admissibility of expert witness testimony by the preponderance of evidence, the court will attempt to answer the following questions:

  • How did the expert reach its conclusion?
  • What methodology did the expert use?
  • Was there anything lacking the expert’s approach?
  • What type of testing methodology was used by the expert?
  • What is the margin of error associated with the tests?
  • Were there any controls implemented?
  • How did the expert interpret the data?

As you can see from the questions above, the court’s objective is to determine whether the expert’s methodology is valid.

This leads us to the Daubert standard, representing the Supreme Court’s factors to evaluate the expert’s methodology.

Daubert standard

The Daubert standard is a test or evaluation criteria allowing the court to rule on the admissibility of an expert witness’s testimony.

Under the Daubert standard, there are five factors to consider:

  • Whether the theory or technique in question can be and has been tested
  • Whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication
  • Its known or potential error rate
  • The existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation
  • Whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community

Filing of a Daubert motion 

When filing a Daubert motion, it’s important to consider the court rules of procedure applicable to the case.

Some state courts have established rules setting out when a Daubert motion (or Daubert challenge) can be filed.

Often, the most appropriate timeline to file such a challenge is after the discovery phase.

The reason that’s the case is that the parties will have a sufficient amount of time to file their pleading documents and have a Daubert hearing before trial on merits.

Ultimately when the trial starts, the parties have clarity on the extent of expert testimony they can use.

Daubert motion example 

Let’s look at an example of when a Daubert motion may be filed.

In the case United States of America et al. v. Oracle Corporation, the plaintiffs filed a Daubert motion to exclude certain opinion testimony of an expert witness.

In essence, the Plaintiffs moved for an order, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence 702, to preclude certain statements made by the Defendant’s expert alleged to be outside of the expert’s area of expertise.

The grounds invoked in the plaintiff’s motion was:

  • The expert lacks economic expertise to opine on the economic pricing effects of a proposed merger
  • The expert offers no factual basis for the “expert” opinion 


So what is the legal definition of a Daubert Motion?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Daubert Motion:

  • A Daubert motion is a specific type of motion in limine filed in court proceedings to exclude expert witness testimony 
  • The objective is to exclude unqualified evidence 
  • The name comes from the case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. where the U.S. Supreme Court came up with the standards of evaluation 
  • The court is a gatekeeper of expert evidence to ensure the expert’s testimony will be reliable and relevant
Appellate procedure
Civil procedure
Criminal procedures 
Daubert hearing
Daubert standard 
Evidence law 
Expert testimony 
Federal Rules of Evidence
Frye standard 
Trial judge 
Trial witness
Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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