Legal Memorandum: Qualifying a witness to give expert testimony

Issue: Under the New Mexico Rules of Evidence, when is a witness qualified to testify as an expert?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Uncategorized
Keywords: ; Evidence; Probative Value; Prejudicial
Jurisdiction: New Mexico
Cited Cases: 96 P.3d 291; 349 P.2d 337; 195 P.3d 1244
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2015

[On appellate review] a challenge to the trial court’s rulings after a bench trial using the manifest-weight-of-the-evidence standard of review. "In a bench trial, it is the function of the trial judge, as the trier of fact, to weigh the evidence and make factual determinations." Kay v. Prolix Packaging, Inc., 2013 IL App. (1st) 112455, ¶ 55 "A reviewing court will not reverse a trial court’s decision merely because different conclusions can be drawn; an opposite conclusion must be clearly evident." Walker v. Ridgeview Construction Co., 316 Ill.App.3d 592, 595 (2000).  ‘A judgment is against the manifest weight of the evidence only when the opposite conclusion is apparent or when findings appear to be unreasonable, arbitrary, or not based on evidence.’ Chicago’s Pizza, Inc. v. Chicago’s Pizza Franchise Limited USA, 384 Ill.App.3d 849, 859 (2008) (quoting Judgment Services Corp. v. Sullivan, 321 Ill.App.3d 151, 154 (2001)). "When contradictory testimony that could support conflicting conclusions is given at a bench trial, an appellate court will not disturb the trial court’s factual findings based on that testimony unless a contrary finding is clearly apparent." Chicago’s Pizza, Inc., 384 Ill.App.3d at 859. In other words, "[a] trial court’s judgment following a bench trial will be upheld if there is any evidence supporting it." Southwest Bank of St. Louis v. Poulokefalos, 401 Ill.App.3d 884, 890 (2010).

American Enterprise Bank v. Becker, 2016.IL.150179-U (Ill. App. Dist. 2. Jan. 28, 2016) (not precedential).

Date: March 1, 2016