Legal Memorandum: Disclosure of an Expert Witness Opinions in LA, NM

Issue: Must the opinions that an expert witness will express and the basis of those opinions be disclosed in discovery in the Tenth, and Fifth Circuits?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Expert witness opinions; Disclosure; Discovery; Rule 26
Jurisdiction: Louisiana, New Mexico
Cited Cases: 654 F.2d 1129
Cited Statutes: Rule 26(B) of the Federal Rules of Procedure
Date: 03/01/2015

Rule 26(B) of the Federal Rules of Procedure require the disclosure of any expert witnesses must be accompanied by a signed, written report containing all the opinions the expert will express and the basis of those opinions as well as other information. 

Jones v. Wike, 654 F.2d 1129, 1130 (5th Cir. 1981) (holding when defendant produces an “expert opinion” supporting summary judgment motion, plaintiff must produce expert opinion to survive motion and upholding summary judgment where defendant produced expert affidavits and plaintiff did not).

Holley v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, 588 Fed Appx. 792, No. 13-2041, 792 (10th Cir. Oct. 23, 2014) (holding under New Mexico law expert testimony necessary to establish standard of care, breach, and proximate cause of medical malpractice because the average jury would know little about risks of medical care unless negligence is overt enough for layman to understand)

Kamal K. Patel v. Resty Baluyot, Doctor’s Hospital, Unidentified Party, Unknown Number of John Does, No. 09-40272, 384 Fed. Appx. 405, 408 (5th Cir. Jun. 30, 2010) (holding that unless the treatment is a matter of common knowledge or is within the experience of a layman, expert testimony to establish breach or causation).

Zuls v. United States, No. 95-2029, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 16635 (10th Cir. Jul 7, 1995) (observing New Mexico Supreme Court has described the “administration of medicine” as a “field of knowledge in which only an expert could give a competent opinion” and holding […]

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