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Daubert in the States: Diffusion of a New Approach to Expert Evidence in the Courts


*Herbert M. Kritzer, William Mitchell College of Law, 875 Summit Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55105; e-mail: Kritzer is Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law; Beckstrom is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin.


This article applies a diffusion analysis to the adoption of Daubert principles by state supreme courts. We examine political, institutional, and legal factors. Applying event history analysis, we find little that systematically accounts for the adoption of Daubert in the states. We do find an unexpected relationship between adoption and the amount of tort reform a state's legislature has passed (adoption of Daubert is less likely in states that have adopted substantial numbers of tort reform measures); we speculate on what might account for this unexpected relationship.