Supreme Court of Maryland Grants Certiorari In Watershed Expert Witness Case In Which Child Justice, Inc. As Amicus Curiae, Argued That Courts Must Be Allowed To Exclude Expert Opinions Based On Junk Data

In November, we shared that Child Justice attorneys had submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court of Maryland in support of certiorari that would overturn an erroneous decision about expert witness opinions from the Appellate Court of Maryland. Our brief discussed not only how the opinion was wrong as a matter of law, but also how if it was law in the past, it would have directly harmed two of our clients. On Friday, January 20, the Court granted certiorari and mentioned Child Justice’s brief in its decision.

From Child Justice’s perspective, the primary problem the Supreme Court has an opportunity to review is an expansive holding that trial courts may not exercise their gatekeeping function to exclude expert opinions that use accepted methods but are predicated on junk data. “By agreeing to hear this important case, the Court has taken the opportunity to right-size the role of trial court judges so they may continue to exclude faulty and ultimately irrelevant expert opinions,” said Dave Dorey, one of the authors of Child Justice’s brief and a member of its Board of Directors.

The Supreme Court’s order says that it will hear oral argument in this case in May and will accept briefs from the parties in the meantime. Child Justice expects to submit an amicus curiae brief to the Court on the merits of the case urging that the decision below be reversed. “In our merits brief, Child Justice will further develop for the Court why expert opinions based on useless data have no business in our courts–and why preserving a robust gatekeeper role for courts is so important to our clients,” said Dave Dorey. Read the Petition for Certiorari here.

Read Child Justice’s Amicus Brief here.

Read the Answer to the Petition here.

Read the Reply in Support of the Petition here.

Read the Grant Order and Writ from the Supreme Court of Maryland here.