Marketing Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Mail Order Conspiracy Litigation

Summary: Marketing Expert Witness testimony allowed even though the plaintiff argued that the expert did not employ any methodology to his marketing opinion.

Facts: This case (United States v. Runner – United States District Court – Eastern District of New York – May 30, 2023) involves a government claim against the defendant related to a mail order psychic services scheme. The defendant was charged on October 18, 2018 with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.  The Government claims that Patrice Runner told her clients that they would receive personalized psychic services from popular psychics in exchange for money.  The defendant hired Marketing Expert Witness David Gal to provide expert testimony. The Government filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion: The court noted that Professor Gal is professor of marketing at the University of Illinois.  In addition, he is an expert in consumer psychology decision making, marketing techniques, and survey design. The Government argues that Professor Gal’s testimony should be excluded because his testimony is unnecessary to explain basic concepts and that his testimony is not helpful and doesn’t reflect any reliable principles.

The Government alleged that Professor Gal’s testimony is not reliable and will not assist the jury in deciding the case. The Government maintained that his testimony does not employ any methodology and only offers an unsubstantiated opinion. The court stated that the Government has not objected to Professor Gal’s qualifications. The court also stated that because Professor Gal’s background and expertise in behavioral science, consumer psychology, and survey design, it will not preclude his testimony.

The court also declined to exclude the expert witness testimony of Professor Gal based on relevancy.

Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of David Gal is denied.