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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