Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Worried About Financing a Case Needing Experts?

Small Firm Business's Litigants Lacking Big Tech Bucks Can Still Play Ball has some interesting points that I have yet to really work out - at this point, I do not have this issue in any of my pending cases.

"In a survey, several federal district court judges also opined that Rule 403 permits the trial judge to bar the proponent's expert testimony when the opponent lacks the wherewithal to afford a rebuttal expert. Savikas & Silverman, 'Making the Poverty Objection: Parties Without Fancy Exhibits Could Claim Unfair Prejudice, But Not All Judges Would Agree,' NLJ, July 26, 1999, at C1.

Is it proper to invoke Rule 403 in that fashion? On the one hand, Rule 403 does not embody any egalitarian objective. Neither the text of the statute, the accompanying advisory committee note, nor any passages in the congressional deliberations over Rule 403 indicate that the drafters intended judges to resort to Rule 403 to compensate for an imbalance of financial resources between the litigants.

As quoted above, Rule 403 lists a number of probative dangers. Several other federal rules provisions contain lists. For example, Rule 404(b) lists some of the recognized noncharacter theories of logical relevance of uncharged misconduct. Likewise, Rule 407 enumerates several permissible purposes for introducing evidence of subsequent remedial measures."