Expert Article Library

Duplicative expert testimony will be excluded

Case Name: United States v. Alisal Water Corp. (click for more info in uscourts.gov)

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, on appeal from the US District Ct. for the Northern District of California

Date: December 14, 2005

Expert: Appraisal & Valuation--Water System. Dr. Joel Berk (Defendant); Carl Danner (Defendant).

Issues: Expert opinions that do not help the jury will be excluded.

Summary of case: Defendants, Robert and Natholyn Adcock and various water systems they owned and operated, were found in violation of numerous public health and safety regulations under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. They were required to sell most of their water systems and pay financial penalties.

Role of the expert: Dr. Berk’s report addressed the value of the water systems, challenging the valuation findings and methodology of the court appointed accountant. Carl Danner testified concerning the water systems’ value.

Expert analysis: The exclusion of Dr. Beck’s report was affirmed on appeal. The defense failed to show that Dr. Berk’s report offered new or different evidence from what expert Carl Danner was to testify regarding the value of the water systems.

Summary prepared by J. Price, Student, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)