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Survey Says: Tips On Getting Over the Daubert Hurdle

This article draws on a review of over 300 U.S. court rulings in cases involving surveys, including over 150 Daubert motions, and provides suggestions for getting survey evidence admitted for consideration in court. Our recommendations fall under two broad categories: relevance and reliability.

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Surveys can provide useful evidence in litigation if they are conducted by a qualified expert employing reliable methods that survive a Daubert challenge. To be admissible, expert testimony must be “relevant to the task at hand” and rest on a “reliable foundation” (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993)). In this article, we draw on our review of over 300 U.S. court rulings in cases involving surveys, including over 150 Daubert motions, we provide some suggestions for getting survey evidence admitted for consideration in court. Our recommendations fall under two broad categories: relevance and reliability.

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