Thursday, April 08, 2004

Expert Attorney Witnesses Break Long Dry Spell

For the first time in this decade, a federal appellate court has upheld the admissibility of testimony from an attorney serving as an expert witness. But before lawyers start dancing in triumph, we should mention the upshot. Based on the expert's testimony, a Utah law firm's bill was cut by more than half. See Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy v. Williams, No. 02-4245 (10th Cir. Apr. 6, 2004) (Seymour, Brorby, & Henry, JJ.) (unpublished).
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.