Expert Article Library

Police Officer is Qualified as an Expert in Gambling Case

Case Name: United States v. Anderson (Click here for the full text of the case)

Court: 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

Date: May 10, 2006

Expert: Police Officer. Lieutenant Kyle

Issue: Whether Lieutenant Kyle was qualified to give an expert opinion and whether the prosecutor should have given the requisite notice of the expert testimony?

Summary of case: Defendant was found guilty of conspiring to conduct and conducting illegal gambling.

Role of the expert: Expert testified to the modus operandi and basic characteristics of illegal gambling operations.

Challenges to the Expert's testimony: The defendant suggests that the officer was not qualified to be an expert regarding gambling operations. But the court held that 17 years as a police officer and assisting in over 12 gambling investigations was sufficient to qualify him to testify to the general operations and practices of a gambling enterprise. Also, even though the prosecutor had not given the proper notice of the expert to the defendant, when the expert is nonetheless allowed to testify in the trial court, the defendant asserting the error must show actual prejudice. This was not shown. The District Court properly allowed the expert testimony to come in.

Summary prepared by M. Lanzone, Student, University of California, Hastings College of Law