Arizona v. Salazar Mercado (5/29/2014)

May 29, 2014

Arizona Supreme Court Holds That the 2012 Amendment to Arizona Rule of Evidence Rule 702, Which Conformed Arizona’s Rule to the Federal Rule and Daubert, Does Not Preclude “Cold” Expert Testimony.

The amended Rule 702(d) does not bar admission of “cold” expert  testimony—testimony that educates the trier of fact about general principles but is not  tied to the particular facts of the case.  A trial court may admit such testimony if it satisfies Rule 702(a)–(c) and is not barred by Rule 403.  In this case, the Court held that given the facts and record, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting “cold” expert testimony concerning Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, a syndrome which purportedly explains behaviors commonly exhibited by child sexual abuse victims.