Saturday, June 10, 2006

Federal Judge Issues TRO Barring AANS from Sanctioning Expert Witness

United States District Judge Ralph Tyson, sitting in Baton Rouge, has issued a temporary restraining order barring the American Association of Neurological Surgeons from sanctioning a Louisiana neurosurgeon for testifying as a plaintiff's expert witness in a Florida malpractice case. The AANS wants to suspend the neurosurgeon for two years because he "demonstrated a lack of adequate subject matter knowledge and acted as an advocate for the plaintiff and the plaintiff attorney rather than as an unbiased witness." The Baton Rouge Advocate has the story.

Update 6/13/06: Here's the actual Temporary Restraining Order. We're not First Amendment lawyers. But the TRO appears to us to go beyond enjoining disciplinary sanctions, and toward the realm of prior restraints.


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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.