Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kuhmo Tire Company, Ltd. v. Carmichael case brief

  1. Kuhmo Tire Company, Ltd. v. Carmichael case brief summary(US 1998)
    1. ISSUE: was whether a tire that blew out was defectively made, or whether it was just abused by driver.
      • evidentiary question: does Daubert apply to this kind of expert?  technical expertise, not “science” in the way the facts of Daubert seemed to require.
    2. HOLDING: Daubert applies not only to science, but to all expert testimony.
      • having to decide whether testimony is “expert” or “technical” would require litigating a very close question, not something ct wants to get into.
    3. abuse of discretion standard for reviewing trial judge’s decision.
      • highly deferential – if judge listens to both sides, holds hearings as necessary, and explains his reasons rationally, then app ct will uphold that regardless of what app ct itself would have done were this de novo review.
      • this shifts power to the trial judge, whose judicially competent decision is final (in the fed system)
        1. pre-Daubert, more got through to the jury; new std puts heavier burden on judge, to get up to date on scientific knowledge, etc.

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