Tuesday, March 20, 2007

11th Circuit Upholds ER Physician's Testimony on the Bizarre

On plain error review, the Eleventh Circuit has upheld, in an unpublished opinion, the admissibility of a physician's testimony that the conduct of an ER patient (later to become a bank robbery defendant) was "a little bit bizarre." The physician also testified that although the defendant claimed in ER to have been struck in the head with the butt of a gun, he showed no evidence of edema or hematoma. See United States v. Dean, No. 06-14088 (11th Cir. Mar. 15, 2007) (Tjoflat, Hull, & Marcus, 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.