Saturday, December 09, 2006

Paring Down to Essentials

Some have feared that permitting the citation of unpublished opinions will create an undue burden on judges, by requiring them to defend their reasoning at greater length. But sometimes, prolixity is unnecessary, if you cut to the chase. Take the opinion in Jones v. Parr, No. 2006-1861 (La. Oct. 27, 2006), which we reproduce in its entirety below:
Granted. The trial court erred in excluding the testimony of Dr. Turkewitz merely because he practices in a different speciality than defendants. See McLean v. Hunter, 495 So.2d 1298 (La. 1986). Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is vacated and the case remanded to the trial court for a hearing to determine whether Dr. Turkewitz has the requisite knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education to testify as an expert under La. Code Evid. art. 702, and whether his methodology is scientifically reliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).
That's 95 words, counting citations, in which we are told everything we really need to know, to understand the decision.


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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.