House sends expert witness bill to governor

The Missouri House Wednesday gave final passage to AIM-supported legislation aimed at ensuring witnesses purporting to be experts in a certain field do indeed meet that standard.Parson

Senate Bill 591, sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson, and handled on the House floor by Rep. Kevin Corlew, would allow Missouri to join 40 other states and the federal government in using federal standards to determine whether a witness is an expert or not in a court proceeding.

“The Daubert expert standard is a fair and consistent standard for all parties in the pursuit of justice and case disposition,” said Rep. Corlew. “Studies show that the length of litigation and its attendant costs are reduced in courts that use the Daubert expert standard. The efficiency gained for parties and an overburdened court system cannot be overstated.”

Throughout the debate on the expert witness bill, supporters of the legislation pointed out that Missouri is ranked as the 42nd worst state in the country in lawsuit environment for businesses.

KevinCorlew“We keep hearing figures like this and we have to ask ourselves ‘what can we do to make that better?'” said Rep. Corlew during his closing statement on the House floor Wednesday. “(Senate Bill 591) is something that we can do for justice in Missouri, both in civil and criminal cases.”

The bill was given final passage in the House by an 85-68 margin. It now heads to Governor Nixon’s desk for final action.