Not only does the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in In re: Accutane pave the way to ending a fifteen-year litigation, it sends a clear message to trial courts regarding the critical importance of their role as the gatekeepers of expert testimony in civil cases. The landmark decision adopted the Daubert1 factor-based approach to assess the methodology and reliability of an expert’s proffered opinions. This more “rigorous” gatekeeping and analysis for expert testimony brings New Jersey jurisprudence in line with the thirty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the federal courts that require an expert’s testimony be based on sound reasoning and valid methodology that are applied reliably to the facts in issue. This decision provides clear direction for New Jersey trial courts to follow in deciding issues of expert admissibility in civil cases.
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