Court excludes the unsubstantiated testimony of labor standards expert witness on account of non-compliance with the disclosure requirements of Rule 26

The Court excluded the Plaintiffs’ expert witness report in this fair labor standards act case for noncompliance with Rule 26 requirements. The report lacked a detailed explanation of the expert’s methodology and opinions. It relied on facts not yet available through discovery. Further, it failed to identify supporting exhibits or provide the expert’s qualifications and publications. With no insight into the validity of the expert’s analysis, and given a prior chance to amend, the Court found exclusion necessary under Daubert. Compliance with disclosure rules is key.

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Court qualifies retired judge as legal malpractice expert witness in South Dakota

This case examined the admissibility of expert testimony on the standard of care in a South Dakota legal malpractice claim. The Court ruled the Plaintiff’s expert could opine on the national standard despite lacking state-specific credentials. The Court found no evidence the alleged attorney errors were sufficiently tied to unique local rules and customs to require a state-specific standard of care. The case illustrates that under Rule 702, an expert’s lack of local licensure does not necessarily bar testimony on a national standard in a malpractice suit. It also shows Courts have discretion in evaluating relevance and reliability of expert opinions in such cases.

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Orthopedic expert testimony on causation survives unreliable methodology challenge in Louisiana

The District Court denied Plaintiff’s motion to exclude the testimony of Defendant’s expert Dr. Millet. Though Dr. Millet did not examine the Plaintiff and made some factual assumptions, the Court found his methodology of reviewing medical records combined with his experience was sufficiently reliable under Daubert. The Court held disputes over the basis for an expert’s opinion should affect the weight assigned, not admissibility. Shaky but admissible testimony should be attacked through cross-examination and contrary evidence, not exclusion.

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Unreliable testimony by metrology and food safety expert excluded in class action for false and deceptive advertising

In this class action, the court excluded expert testimony alleging Laird Superfood mislabeled serving sizes on its products. The court found the expert’s consumer-perspective testing methodology lacked scientific reliability controls and details. His opinions were also irrelevant to whether Laird followed FDA labeling rules. Without the expert testimony, the plaintiff could not prove Laird violated labeling regulations. This resulted in dismissal, underscoring the importance of admissible expert evidence in such cases.

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Vermont Court limits executive search and recruitment expert’s opinions regarding Plaintiff’s job qualifications and associated compensation range

Although Ketchum is qualified as an expert based on his extensive professional experience in executive recruiting, portions of his opinions were excluded as unreliable under Rule 702. His opinion on Wolfe’s probable compensation range relied solely on limited data points regarding Wolfe’s prior salary and his successor’s pay without explaining his reasoning. Ketchum’s opinion that Wolfe’s job search efforts were reasonable was an inadmissible legal conclusion. His media research opinion failed to provide an admissible causation analysis and ignored unfavorable evidence. Despite Ketchum’s qualifications, his methodology was inadequate regarding these opinions, warranting exclusion under Rule 702.

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Court admits expert testimony regarding restrictive covenants in public nuisance case

In Stone v. Harley Marine, the court denied Harley’s attempt to exclude Plaintiff’s expert, finding his long experience preparing neighborhood analyses qualified him to opine on land use and deed restrictions. The court held that the expert employed a reliable methodology involving site inspection and document review. While Harley could make specific objections at trial, the court found the expert’s experience analyzing neighborhoods as a real estate appraiser qualified him to serve as a rebuttal witness despite lacking formal credentials as a land planner. The court also declined to limit Plaintiff’s testimony about her property value since she agreed to comply with the Texas Property Owner Rule.

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Court limits fire and battery expert testimony in fatal laptop battery explosion case

This case arose from a December 2015 apartment fire in Everett, Washington that was allegedly caused by a lithium-ion laptop battery manufactured by Hewlett-Packard (HP). The plaintiff insurance company brought subrogation claims against HP for negligence and strict product liability under Washington law. The plaintiff retained two expert witnesses who opined that the fire was caused by an internal short circuit in the HP laptop battery, which then ignited surrounding combustible materials. HP filed Daubert motions challenging the admissibility of the two experts’ testimonies. The court excluded some opinions as beyond the experts’ qualifications or based on flawed testing methodology. However, the court found enough expert testimony survived to create factual disputes warranting denial of HP’s motion for summary judgment on the strict liability claim. Thus, the case was allowed to proceed to trial based on the admissible expert opinions that the fire originated on the bed where the laptop was located and may have been caused by the laptop battery.

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FTX Founder’s Experts Face Exclusion in Cryptocurrency Fraud Case

The upcoming fraud trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried recently faced a major development regarding expert witnesses. Federal prosecutors filed motions to completely exclude all seven expert witnesses noticed by Bankman-Fried’s defense team. The Government argues the testimony of experts including a barrister, professors, and industry professionals would be irrelevant, unreliable, confusing, or prejudicial. Specifically, prosecutors say the witnesses improperly intend to offer legal conclusions that are the court’s purview, speculate about Bankman-Fried’s intent, provide unnecessary background, or discuss industry practices unrelated to the allegations. Authorities also contend some experts lack qualifications to opine on cryptocurrency and FTX, while others failed to adequately disclose their opinions and analysis as required. The prosecution’s motions aim to block expert testimony that they say either usurps the roles of the judge and jury, lacks a scientific basis, or seeks to distract from the core issues of alleged fraud, misappropriation, and false statements. The court has not yet ruled on whether to exclude the defense experts. Jury selection for Bankman-Fried’s New York trial on charges tied to FTX’s collapse begins October 2.

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California Court admits the testimony of film and television industry experts in copyright infringement action 

Plaintiffs allege certain episodes of Defendants’ shows Prank Encounters and Double Cross infringe episodes of Plaintiffs’ show Scare Tactics. The court denies Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding genuine disputes remain regarding substantial similarity and damages. The court also largely denies motions to exclude expert testimony on similarity and damages, ruling that flawed assumptions and questionable methodologies are issues for cross-examination, not grounds for wholesale exclusion. Disagreements with experts’ opinions will go to the weight of their testimony, not admissibility. Thus the case will proceed toward a jury decision.

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Court admits royalty analysis on a convoyed sales approach, denied motion to exclude in Patent Infringement case

In this patent infringement lawsuit, the Court addressed Defendant’s motion to exclude Plaintiff’s damages expert under Daubert and Rule 702. The Defendant argued the expert improperly inflated the value of the patented inventions by including non-infringing products and features in his royalty calculations. However, the Court upheld the expert’s methodology. It found the expert permissibly based his royalty analysis on a convoyed sales approach, including revenue from non-patented maintenance packages that were functionally linked to the accused software. The Court explained convoyed sales principles allow tying non-patented items to patented ones when a close functional relationship exists, without meeting the same stringent standards as the entire market value rule urged by defendant. The Court also affirmed the expert’s apportionment methodology as sufficiently reliable and rejected arguments he failed to account for prior art. It emphasized alleged flaws in an expert’s methodology are better handled by cross-examination rather than exclusion.

The key focus is on summarizing the court’s decision to allow the expert’s testimony over Defendant’s Daubert challenge. The excerpt highlights the court’s findings that the expert reliably applied accepted damages principles and Defendant’s disputes could be addressed through cross-examination at trial.

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  • Recent Expert Challenges

    Expert Challenges, Fire Investigation Expert Witness

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    September 29, 2023

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    Court limits expert testimony on crash reconstruction and its contributing factors

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