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United States v. Barnes, 2008 WL 9359653 (S.D.N.Y 2008)

Case (cite)
United States v. Barnes, 2008 WL 9359653 (S.D.N.Y 2008)
New York
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Other; Trial court
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Carlo Rosati
Summary of reasons for ruling
The court held that a hearing is unnecessary to fulfil its gatekeeping obligation. The court notes other courts that have found toolmark identification reliable and states that the NRC report "disclaims any motive to impact the question of ballistics evidence in courts." Further, the court explains that Schwartz's affidavit is unconvincing because she is an academic, not a toolmark examiner, and "while she may be a leader in her academic field, she is not trained or experienced as a firearms examiner and her contentions do not persuade this Court to find that the reliability of firearms identification evidence in general or in this case in particular warrant preclusion or, moreover, a hearing. The court states that if and when the government offers a witness, the court will determine the reliability of the testimony and the defendant is free to challenge the qualifications and methodoloy voir dire.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
702; Daubert
Did lower court hold a hearing
N/A (but the trial court held here that no hearing was necessary)
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
affidavit of Adina Schwartz
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N/A (but used NAS2008)
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