Catch up on the latest developments of interest for product manufacturers. Here’s a quarterly compilation of the most popular blog posts on Faegre Drinker on Products.
By Eric M. Friedman
Burns v. Sherwin-Williams Co. is the latest in a line of cases that apply variations on a simple, common-sense theme — an expert who cannot articulate the applicable standard should not be allowed to opine that a defendant failed to meet the applicable standard. Such testimony is not a “shaky but admissible” opinion to be attacked on cross-examination; it is internally inconsistent, is inherently unreliable, and should be excluded under Rule 702.
By Christin Jaye Eaton and Eric M. Friedman
Though the pending amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 have not officially taken effect yet, courts already have begun to cite them, echoing the Advisory Committee’s sentiment that the amendments will not change the substance of the law as it was meant to be applied, but that many courts have not been applying it correctly. Litigants should follow suit, citing both the amendments and the Advisory Committee’s notes to alert courts that old precedent — particularly “weight, not admissibility” cases — may not be consistent with newly amended Rule 702.
By Eric M. Friedman and Ross W. Johnson
Rule 26(a)(2)(B) requires witnesses who are “retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case” — i.e., “retained” experts — to prepare and sign a report that discloses “a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them.” In contrast, Rule 26(a)(2)(C) imposes less arduous disclosure requirements on non-retained experts and calls on the party, not the expert, to make those disclosures. As the Eleventh Circuit recently noted in Cedant v. United States, “an expert’s status as a retained witness depends on the original purpose of his retention.” As was the case before Cedant, litigants would be wise to support critical elements of their claims and defenses with testimony from a retained expert and not assume a court will allow a non-retained expert to supply what is needed.