Thursday, March 18, 2004

11th Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Accountant's Testimony on Lost Profits

The Eleventh Circuit has affirmed the trial court's exclusion of an accountant's testimony on lost profits. The accountant's estimates were based on figures for gross sales and gross profits, without deducting associated expenses. His opinion therefore failed to square with Georgia law on lost profits, according to the panel, and it relied on methods not generally accepted in the accounting community. The panel also held that the trial court did not err in excluding the evidence even though the defendant's Daubert objection was not raised until trial. See Club Car, Inc. v. Club Car (Quebec) Import, Inc., No. 03-11169 (11th Cir. Mar. 15, 2004) (Edmondson, Birch, & Farris, JJ.).
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.