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Landmark Forensics Cases

Name:  __Jordan Dorff_______________________ Date: ________2/5/15_______________

Landmark Forensic Science Cases

For this assignment, you are to research the Frye v. United States and Daubert v. Merrell Dow cases.

  1. Compare and contrast them in terms of how they relate to admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom.
  2. Find real criminal cases on which each of these cases were argued.  Write a brief description of each that decided the case and the application of the Frye test or the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  1. The Frye rule states that the opinions of experts or skilled witnesses are admissible as evidence that the new or novel scientific methodology or theory being used is, in fact, an accepted science in the scientific community. The Daubert standard is used to make a preliminary assessment of whether an expert witness’ scientific testimony is valid and can be applied to the facts or evidence of a case.

2. In  Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, a tire on Mr. Carmichael’s car blew out, killing one and injuring others. The surviving passengers, along with a representative for the deceased, sued the tire company. They brought in an expert witness named Denis Carlson jr. to testify that the tire failed because of a defect and not abuse. The defense moved to exclude this testimony because the witness’ methodology failed to satisfy the Daubert Standard. In Weisgram v. Marley Co. a woman died in a house fire and the prosecution blamed it on a faulty electric baseboard heater. The prosecution brought forth some expert witnesses. The defence objected that the evidence was unreliable and could not be admitted under the Daubert Standard. This objection was overruled and the prosecution won the case.


LII / Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from

Forensic Evidence Admissibility & Expert Witnesses. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from

Kumho Tire Co v. Carmichael | Casebriefs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from

OneLBriefs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from


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