Expert Fire Investigator’s testimony determining the point of origin and cause of the fire found reliable

The Court denied a Daubert motion to exclude a fire investigator’s testimony on the origin and cause of a destructive fire. It found the investigator qualified through extensive experience investigating fires. Minor flaws in his analysis provided fodder for cross-examination but did not warrant exclusion. Competing expert conclusions created a battle of the experts for the jury to resolve at trial, not grounds to exclude testimony under Daubert, the court held.

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Court limits treating physician’s testimony pertaining to issues concerning the Plaintiff’s treatment 

This case demonstrates the court’s “gatekeeping” role in assessing reliability of expert testimony under Daubert and excluding opinions outside an expert’s direct knowledge and treatment. The decision provides guidance on constraining expert witness testimony to matters firmly within the bounds of the expert’s qualifications and experience.

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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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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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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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Kentucky Court excludes testimony of Gender Equity Expert on Title IX Violations Case 

Plaintiffs vs. University of Kentucky: Exclusion of Expert Testimony on Title IX Violations

Plaintiffs Elizabeth Niblock and Meredith Newman alleged Title IX violations against the University of Kentucky. The testimony of Expert witness Donna Lopiano’s testimony in support of the allegations was challenged by the University of Kentucky. Key issues include Lopiano’s legal conclusions, reliability of her analysis, and her qualification to opine on certain matters. The court’s ruling excludes Lopiano’s testimony, stressing the importance of avoiding legal conclusions, ensuring a reliable methodological basis and emphasized on experts opining within the confines of their expertise. The outcome of the case is still pending.

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  • Recent Expert Challenges

    Expert Challenges, Fire Investigation Expert Witness

    Expert Fire Investigator’s testimony determining the point of origin and cause of the fire found reliable

    September 29, 2023

    Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness, Expert Challenges

    Court limits expert testimony on crash reconstruction and its contributing factors

    September 28, 2023

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