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State v. Griffin, 834 S.E.2d 435 (N.C.Ct.App. 2019)

Case (cite)
State v. Griffin, 834 S.E.2d 435 (N.C.Ct.App. 2019)
North Carolina
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Elizabeth Fields
Summary of reasons for ruling
Defendant appealed on the basis that the expert testimony did not satisfy the reliability prone of NC Rule of Evidence 702. The appellate court rejected the argument reasoning that the defendant had "severly misrepresnt[ed] [the expert's] opinion testimony by briefly summarizing a few lines of testimony while omitting the bulk of [it]" and based the argument on the "unsupported and conclusory allegation" that the testimony failed to satisfy Daubert.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Second standard
Rule 702
Did lower court hold a hearing
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009)
Discussion of 2016 PCAST report (PCAST)
Discussion of error rates / reliability
Frye Ruling
Limiting testimony ruling
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
Daubert ruling emphasizing – which factors – (list 1-5)
Ruling on qualifications of expert
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
Ruling on 702(b) – the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data
Ruling on 702(c) – the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case


Not a particularly interesting case. Defendant’s argument was pretty conclusory/lacked substantive support.




“Fields explained that, for firearms examinations in general, there is an accepted error rate of one percent, and that she does not yet have an error rate because, based on her proficiency test and her examinations that are reviewed by another examiner, she has not yet made an error. ”


Note: case contains extensive quotes from the expert’s testimony