Tuesday, April 13, 2004

2d Circuit Upholds Exclusion of Creditors' Business Valuation Experts in Keene Bankruptcy Proceedings

In an unpublished opinion, the Second Circuit has upheld the trial court's exclusion of business valuation testimony from experts offered by asbestos claimants in a fraudulent conveyance claim against the bankrupt Keene Corporation. The claimants argued strenuously that various perceived defects in the experts' testimony went to weight, not admissibility. But the panel appears to have been impressed with the district court's opinion, which cited no fewer than 18 reasons why the testimony failed to satisfy Rule 702. See Lippe v. Bairn Corp., No. 03-7360 (2d Cir. Apr. 9, 2004) (Meskill, Katmann, & Wesley, 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.