I have told you in the past that I love Blog 702. It is a blog of substance, written by someone who knows what they are talking about and who is willing to share what they know.
The authors of Blog 702 have started a series about the concept of "reasonable degree of medical certainty." Here are the first few paragraphs"
Quite some time ago now, we promised to respond to a Beck & Herrmann post decrying an ALI proposal to abolish any requirement that experts offer their opinions to a “reasonable degree” of medical, professional, or scientific “certainty.” (Call this the “RDC” rule for short.) The ALI proposal would abrogate any RDC requirement and demand only that the expert hold his or her opinion to be more likely true than not — at least in the context of opinions offered to prove causation in tort cases involving physical harm.
Beck & Herrmann attempt to rebut three arguments offered by the ALI in favor of abandoning any RDC requirement: (1) that the medical and scientific communities have no such “reasonable certainty” standard; (2) that the requirement imposes a more demanding standard for admissibility than the law imposes for satisfaction of the burden of persuasion in civil cases; and (3) that the RDC standard affords no effective guarantee of the soundness of the expert’s analysis.
We’ll respond to Beck & Herrmann’s specific critiques of the three ALI arguments in a second installment. In this first post, we will: (a) discuss how the RDC rule appears to have originated; (b) attempt some description of the demands it may currently impose; and (c) consider some of the functions it might aspirationally perform.
To read the rest of Part I, go here and scroll down to "Beck & Herrmann on ‘Reasonable Medical Certainty’: Part I" on June 22, 2007.
Thanks to Peter B. Nordberg at Berger & Montague for sharing.