United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge.
case is set for a jury trial beginning on May 15, 2017. In
advance of the final pretrial conference scheduled for May 9,
the court addresses plaintiff's Daubert motion
to strike defendants' “police practices”
expert Charles Huth (dkt. #87) under Daubert v. Merrell
Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). For the
reasons set forth below, the court will grant that motion in
part and deny it in part.
the true facts of a case often requires ‘the
application of some scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge.'” Lapsley v. Xtek,
Inc., 689 F.3d 802, 808 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Fed.R.Evid. 702 advisory committee's note to 1972
proposed rules). Federal Rule of Evidence 702 provides:
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
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Evid. 702. The court's role under Rule 702 is to act as a
“gatekeeper, ” ensuring that proffered expert
testimony satisfies these requirements. Kumho Tire Co. v.
Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147 (1999).
exercising this gatekeeping role, the Seventh Circuit has
condensed Rule 702 into a three-part analysis: the court must
determine whether the purported expert witness is qualified;
whether his or her methodology is reliable; and whether the
testimony will assist the jury in deciding a relevant issue.
Myers v. Ill. Cent. R. R. Co., 629 F.3d 639, 644
(7th Cir. 2010). Moreover, the proponent of expert testimony
bears the burden of establishing it meets this three-prong
test. Lewis v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., 561 F.3d 698,
705 (7th Cir. 2009).
specifically, the court first “must look at each of the
conclusions he draws individually to see if he has the
adequate education, skill, and training to reach them.”
Hall v. Flannery, 840 F.3d 922, 926 (7th Cir. 2016)
(quoting Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 617 (7th
Cir. 2010)). Extensive academic training, practical
expertise, or professional or other experience are all proper
bases from which a witness may draw specialized knowledge
sufficient to qualify as an expert in a particular area.
Smith v. Ford Motor Co., 215 F.3d 713, 718 (7th Cir.
2000). As to the second part of the gatekeeping analysis,
“the test for reliability is necessarily flexible.
Although Daubert identifies factors the court may
consider when determining whether an expert's testimony
is reliable-whether the expert's technique has been
tested, subjected to peer review and publication, analyzed
for known or potential error rate, or is generally
accepted-the ‘list of specific factors neither
necessarily nor exclusively applies to all experts or in
every case.'” Estate of Robinson ex rel. Irwin
v. City of Madison, No. 15-CV-502-JDP, 2017 WL 564682,
at *8 (W.D. Wis. Feb. 13, 2017) (quoting Kumho Tire,
526 U.S. at 141). Finally, “expert evidence is relevant
if it helps the jury understand a matter beyond the knowledge
and experience of a layperson.” Id. (citing
Daubert, 509 U.S. at 591-92).
performing its review, the court may not undertake to resolve
disputed facts or make credibility determinations. The
“Daubert inquiry is not designed to have the
district judge take the place of the jury to decide ultimate
issues of credibility and accuracy.” Lapsley,
689 F.3d at 805. At the same time, “[i]t is the role of
the judge, not an expert witness, to instruct the jury on the
applicable principles of law, and it is the role of the jury
to apply those principles of law to the facts in evidence. As
a general rule, accordingly, an expert may not offer legal
opinions.” Jimenez v. City of Chicago, 732
F.3d 710, 721 (7th Cir. 2013).