Saturday, November 4, 2006

Court Denies Use of Expert in Libby Case

Discussed here are some of the pre-trial matters being presented in the case against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.  One matter has now been ruled upon by the court.  In a memorandum order, the court denied the defense permission to present a witness, Dr. Robert A. Bjock, at his trial.  The court concludes:

"In Daubert, the Supreme Court designated the trial judge as a gatekeeper on the question of the admissibility of expert testimony. Daubert, 509 U.S. at 589. To permit the introduction of  the testimony proposed by the defendant would be an abdication of that responsibility and would therefore leave the gate this Court is obligated to protect unguarded and without a sentry. This the Court cannot do, in light of the mandate given to it by the highest Court in the land. As noted above, this Court has concluded that the defendant has failed to satisfy his burden of establishing that the testimony of Dr. Bjork would be helpful to the jury and thus, he has failed to satisfy the second prong of Daubert. Moreover, even if this Court could conclude that the defendant satisfied his burden under Daubert, Dr. Bjork‚Äôs testimony would nonetheless have to be excluded under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, as the probative value of the proposed testimony is outweighed not only by the delay and waste of time that would be occasioned by the introduction of the testimony, but also by the risk that the jury will be misled and confused by the testimony

Order here.

(esp)

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