Employment Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Part in Racial Discrimination Litigation

Summary: Employment Expert Witness testimony allowed in part even though the plaintiff argued that it is up to the judge and the jury to to decide liability based on the evidence in the case.

Facts:  This case (Dickson v. The Bosworth – United States District Court – Western District of Texas – May 13th, 2022) involves a claim of racial discrimination.  The defendant, Bosworth has hired Employment Expert Witness W. Clark Lea to provide testimony on its behalf.   The defendant hired Mr. Lea to provide expert testimony on whether or not Bosworth performed reasonable care to prevent or correct harassing and discriminatory behavior and whether Dickson did not take advantage of any corrective or preventative behavior which was provided by Bosworth.  The plaintiff has filed a motion to exclude this expert from providing expert witness testimony.

Discussion: Dickson argues that Mr. Lea’s expert witness testimony should be excluded because he is a practicing attorney.  Dickson also states that it is the job of the judge and the jury to decide liability based on the evidence.  In addition, the plaintiff states that Mr. Lea is testifying as an attorney and that his testimony does not present scientific or statistical experience.  In addition, the plaintiff argues that Mr. Lea’s opinions amount to hearsay and, thus, he is an impermissible expert witness.

The court opines that Mr. Lea is qualified in the field of employment law, which would include opinions about whether Bosworth exercised reasonable care in this matter. In addition, the court states that opinions concerning the state of mind and the motive of officers in a company are not admissible because any issues of motive or intent will be assessed by the jury. Also, the court maintains, experts cannot provide opinions about laws that govern disputes, as that is the function of the court.  The court also notes that an expert is not allowed to provide opinions that would duplicate what the attorneys offer in their argument.

The court also opines that a large part of Mr. Lea’s expert opinion asserts legal analysis and conclusions that are impermissible as expert opinion evidence. The court does note t hat Mr. Lea will be allowed to provide expert opinion testimony about Bosworth’s policies and procedures, as well as training that employees receive as it compares to best practices.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of W. Clark Lea is granted in part and denied in part.