Sunday, July 18, 2004

Four New Illinois Appellate Decisions

We have posted summaries of four new appellate decisions on our parent site's Illinois page, coming to you courtesy of our learned correspondent C.E. Petit:

The last of these cases involves a novel twist.  A newspaper sues to obtain data from a state cancer registry.  The registry opposes on the ground that the data could tend to disclose confidential information about individuals.  To support its contention, the registry offers testimony from an expert, who is able to extract individual identities from the data requested, using a methodology disclosed under seal.  The upshot?  The data are ordered released, on the ground that under the evidence submitted, only an expert would have the specialized knowledge necessary to extract the identities from the information, whereas members of the general public would not.


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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.