© D.L. Crumbley
Qualifying as an Expert Witness
“Thus, in our view, the Court’s emphasis on reliability as well as on relevancy embraces within its standard the credibility of the witness proffering expert opinion. This is particularly true where, as here, it is the district court judge sitting as a finder of fact who must rule on issues is evidence.
In the instant case, the District Court ruled that Dr. Gotteimer’s testimony would not be admissible for three reasons. First, the court found that Dr. Gotteimer’s educational credentials were not of the highest caliber. Second, during voir dire, the District Court found Dr. Gottheimer not to be credible because he had made statements about his credentials that were inconsistent with his deposition testimony. Finally, the District Court found that Dr. Gottheimer’s experience was in property casualty insurance, not life insurance, and that Gottheimer had admitted in his deposition that there are “fundamental” differences in evaluating the two types of insurances….
Source: In re Unisys Shavings Plan Litigation, 173 F.3d 145, 156-57 (CA-3, 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 950 (1999).