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WEIRD SCIENCE:  MARYLAND’S NEW TEST FOR THE ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT TESTIMONY.

           For more than forty years, Frye-Reed endured as Maryland’s test for the admissibility of expert testimony based on novel scientific principles or techniques.  Named after its near century-old progenitor, Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), and the Maryland case that adopted it, Reed v. State, 283 Md. 374 (1978), the test asks whether the scientific principle or technique at issue is “generally accepted” in the relevant scientific community.  Before the Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), the Frye test was the predominant standard for the admissibility of scientific evidence in state and federal courts.  Daubert, however, held that Frye was superseded by Federal Rule of Evidence 702.  The Supreme Court interpreted Rule 702 as providing for a “flexible” inquiry focused on the reliability of evidence, under which “general acceptance” is only of several relevant factors.  Id. at 594–95.  In years following Daubert, the majority of states followed the federal courts and replaced the Frye test with Daubert.  Maryland was one of the few hold outs, but no longer.

  1. Out with the old . . .
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