Corporate Governance Expert Witness Testimony Not Allowed in Antitrust Litigation

Summary:  Corporate Governance Expert Witness testimony not allowed because the court found that his expert report used factual narrative that did not have any technical or scientific conclusions.

Facts: This case (Jones et al v. Bain Capital Private Equity et al – United States District Court – Western District of Tennessee – January 9th, 2024) involves a class action complaint filed by members of the defendant’s cheerleading camps.  The plaintiffs allege that they paid artificially inflated prices for certain goods and services, such as enrollment in cheer competitions and apparel which was purchased indirectly from the plaintiff.  To assist in their case, the plaintiffs hired Corporate Governance Expert Witness James H. Aronoff to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendants filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Mr. Aronoff.

Discussion:  The defendants allege that Mr. Aronoff does not have the relevant experience to offer expert witness testimony in this case.  Second, they argue that most of his report is a factual narrative.  Last, the defendants state that Aronoff’s structural relief recommendations are not germane subjects for expert witness testimony.

First, the defendants allege that Aronoff doesn’t have any experience in sports or sports management, is not an economist, and has no experience with antitrust litigation.  However, the court notes that Aronoff has over 35 years of professional experience, mostly in the financial services industry.  Also, the court states that Aronoff is a Managing Director at CohenReznick LLP and works with clients on regulatory compliance, restructuring, and enterprise rick management.  Thus, the court rules that Aronoff is qualified to offer an expert witness opinion on corporate governance and compliance.

Second, the defendants allege that most of Aronoff’s expert witness testimony are factual narratives and there are no technical or scientific conclusions.  The plaintiffs state that Mr. Aronoff is simply contextualizing and analyzing historical facts.  The court agreed with the defendant, opining that this part of the expert witness testimony is

Last, the defendants argue that Aronoff’s structural relief recommendations are not relevant and do not assist the trier of fact.  The court agreed with this argument.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of James H. Aronoff is granted.