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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Expert witness standards

Many people every day of the week testify in courts and otherwise as expert witnesses. I’ve testified dozens of times as such and today we explore how any expert witness is deemed qualified.

Since 1993, many courts, attorneys, and judges use the guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court of the United States case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). In shorthand, the “Daubert standard.”

The Daubert standard suggests that a [federal] trial judge has a duty to scrutinize the evidence to determine whether it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Evidence 702. This rule is here:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: (a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

In 1999, the Supreme Court of the United States broadened the Daubert gate-keeper function to include non-scientific matters in the case of Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137. The Court ruled in part that Daubert applies not only to testimony based on “scientific” knowledge but also to testimony based on “technical” and “other specialized” knowledge.

I’ve been qualified to testify per a strict Daubert standard and the like many times, almost always despite strong opposition from the opposing counsel. It is pretty much standard practice to oppose the other party’s expert witness because that message would rather be avoided.

If you’re an auctioneer in need of help with pending (or threatened, even if frivolous) litigation involving anything auction-related — I can probably help your attorney. If you are a bidder, buyer, or seller injured by an auctioneer’s malpractice — I can probably help your attorney as well.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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