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Expert Witnesses Products Liability

Challenges to the Admissibility of Evidence in the 'Omics' Era

Even though the technology is cutting edge, the admissibility of expert testimony regarding genetic testing is subject to age-old rules. This article reviews some recent decisions regarding genomics, and provides practice pointers for litigators involved in these types of proceedings.

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Genetic technologies have been a presence in United States courtrooms for decades. In 1987, Tommie Lee Andrews became the first person in the United States to be convicted of a crime based on DNA evidence, spurring the first appellate decision on the admissibility of the results of a genetic test. Andrews v. State, 533 So.2d 841 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1988). Two years later, the case of State v. Woodall, 385 S.E.2d 253 (W. Va. 1989), brought the issue of DNA evidence to a state’s highest court, which concluded that the reliability of genetic testing was generally accepted in the scientific community.

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