8/9/07 Expert Witness Disqualified Under Daubert Re: Vietnamese Culture

In US v. Ta, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58130, Hoa Quoc Ta hoped to use expert witness Mr. Nguyen Ba Chung as an expert on Vietnamese culture. Ta is charged with kidnapping, carjacking, and “possessing a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence in violation.” But while Chung holds positions as Research Associate at the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences and Project Director of the Rockefeller Program at the University of Massachusetts, the court rejected the expert’s testimony saying that the:

Defendant fails to demonstrate that Chung is qualified to testify competently regarding the subjects he intends to address, that his testimony is reliable under Daubert and its progeny, and that his testimony would aid the trier of fact.

Chung was expected to testify regarding the difference between Vietnamese and American views on family, religion, community, politics and government organizations, crime, and gangs.