Expert witness reform to face House test
Update: Senate Bill 591 passed the Missouri General Assembly on April 27, 2016. It now needs a signature from the governor to become law. Thank you for your support in advance of the successful House vote!
It’s no secret, Missouri has one of the worst legal climates in the nation—and that’s bad for business.
A recent report by the U.S. Chamber ranked Missouri’s judicial system 42nd in the nation. The American Tort Reform Association has also called Missouri the fourth worst “Judicial Hellhole” in the nation.
To combat this problem, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made expert witness reform a priority during this legislative session.
For this bill to pass, we need the business community to speak up. Please contact your House member and ask him or her to support Senate Bill 591.
Senate Bill 591 would help ensure the credibility of the people who testify as experts in Missouri legal proceedings.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson, a Republican from Bolivar, would require that people who testify as expert witnesses must actually have expert knowledge of the topic.
The bill would provide the same high standards for trial evidence that is required in federal courts and many other states. Called the Daubert standard, it ensures that only evidence deemed relevant, reliable and provided by qualified individuals will be admitted as expert testimony.
Vocal support from business community members helped this bill advance through a closely divided House committee. A similar effort will likely be needed for the bill to survive the House floor.