Daubert Standard -


In Colorado, expert testimony is governed by C.R.E. 702 and People v. Shreck, 22 P.3d 68, 77-78 (Colo. 2001), focusing on witness qualifications, reliability of the opinions and scientific principles, and usefulness to the jury. It is similar to Daubert.

Under C.R.E. 702, “[i]f scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.” See People v. Shreck, 22 P.3d 68, 70 (Colo. 2001). C.R.E. 702 imposes upon a trial court the duty to act as “evidentiary gatekeeper” to assure that scientific evidence and expert testimony is sufficiently reliable and relevant. Shreck, 22 P.3d at 74.

The Colorado Supreme Court explained in Shreck that to fulfill its gatekeeping duties, a trial court should conduct an inquiry considering the “totality of the circumstances of the case.” Id. at 77. The Court declined to adopt “any particular set of factors” for determining reliability. Shreck, 22 P.3d at 77 (quoting Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., 509 U.S. 579, 592-93 (1993)).

Expert testimony is admissible under C.R.E. 702 only when (1) the principles at issue are reasonably reliable; (2) the witness is qualified to opine on such principles; and (3) the testimony will be useful to the jury. Shreck, 22 P.3d at 79. The state court may consider Daubert factors involving reliability.