Missouri Legislature passes bill to add expert witness rules

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers have approved a bill to add requirements for expert witnesses who testify in court proceedings.

House members voted 85-68 on Wednesday to send the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon. The measure would require experts’ opinions to be based on sufficient data and be reliably applied to the facts of cases. It wouldn’t apply to juvenile or family courts.

Current Missouri law applies primarily to the facts presented to a jury, not the way an expert interprets those facts. The concern addressed by the bill is that sometimes so-called experts who testify at trials aren’t actually experts.

Republican Rep. Kevin Corlew says the measure will ensure juries can rely on testimony from expert witnesses.

Bipartisan opponents say the legislation could increase court costs.

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