Thursday, June 24, 2004

3d Circuit Affirms Handwriting Testimony on Ultimate Issue

The Third Circuit has published an opinion affirming the admissibility of testimony from an extraordinarily qualified handwriting expert on the ultimate issue of authorship of key documents. See United States v. Rutland, No. 03-3915 (3d Cir. June 23, 2004) (Alito, Fisher, & Aldisert, JJ.).


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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.