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RE: UBC Commentary

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Charles:

You wrote:
> There is no recourse I know of against engineer experts in legal proceedings
> who testify falsely, whether mistakenly, negligently, or with malice. A
> series of Appelate Court interpretations of Civil Code sec 47 (b) address
> the privilege held by such witnesses.

You might want to consider the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision in 
Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael (which is discussed in some detail in 
an article by Paul M. Lurie, Esq., Fall 1999 issue of "Structure", 
pp. 39, 40).

The court can exclude the opinion of an "expert" based on "1) whether 
the expert's theory or technique can be tested; 2) whether the 
expert's theory or technique has been published and reviewed by 
peers; 3) whether the expert's theory or technique is susceptible to 
errors and whether certain operating standards control the theory or 
technique; and 4) whether the expert's theory or technique is 
generally accepted by a relevant peer group."  "Kumho further directs 
courts to be 'flexible' in using their discretion to test rigorously 
each expert opinion for reliability."

In the case at hand, the Supreme Court excluded an expert's testimony 
based on the above "flexible" test.  Kumho has subsequently been 
applied in standard-of-care cases (e.g., Grdinich v. Bradlees).

This case has made waves (good ones, I believe) in expert witness 
circles because "the courts now have more authority to weed out 
irresponsible and unreliable expert testimony on any topic."

-Mike

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Michael Valley                                   E-mail: mtv(--nospam--at)skilling.com
Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire Inc.                  Tel:(206)292-1200
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