Friday, June 04, 2004

CPA Testimony on Damages Not Lay Opinion, Says 6th Circuit

The Sixth Circuit has reversed a trial court's decision admitting a CPA's testimony on lost profits and lost business value as lay opinion. There is precedent for permitting business officers and employees to offer lay opinion on lost profits, based on their personal knowledge of the company's affairs. But the CPA in this case was neither an officer nor an employee, and so Rule 702's requirements applied. See JGR, Inc. v. Thomasville Furniture Indus., Inc., No. 02-3640 (6th Cir. June 3, 2004) (Martin, Moore, & Weber, 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.