Sales Expert Witness Testimony Excluded in Bad Faith Litigation

Sales Expert Witness allowed to provide testimony despite opposition’s claims that he is not qualified.

Facts:  This case (Craig v. Xlear et al – United States District Court – State of Utah – Central Division – March 11th, 2019) involves a claim of bad faith and breach of contract.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendant, as controlling and majority shareholder, president, and chairman of the board of Xlear, breached the fiduciary duties that he owed the plaintiff.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendant engaged in bad faith and oppressive tactics in violation of the plaintiff’s rights as a minority shareholder.  The defendants have hired Sales Expert Witness Tad Mancini to provide expert testimony.  The plaintiff has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The plaintiff claims that Mr. Mancini’s report should be excluded, arguing 1) that his opinions improperly state legal conclusions, 2) that Mr. Mancini is not qualified to offer opinions in this case, 3) that his opinions are not reliable, and 4) that Mr. Mancini’s opinions on “mass market” damages are irrelevant.

The plaintiff argues that Mr. Mancini’s opinions are not the proper subject of expert testimony because his testimony serves no other purpose than to feed legal conclusions to the jury.  The court opines that Mr. Mancini’s report and testimony consist of improper legal conclusions and thus, excludes them.  In addition, the court states that Mr. Mancini’s opinions, if offered at trial, would amount to an attempt to direct the jury to conclude that the plaintiff breached his fiduciary duty.

The plaintiff also argues that the court should exclude Mr. Mancini’s report and testimony because he has no expertise on the subject of the plaintiff’s fiduciary duties and whether he breached them in this case.  Specifically, the plaintiff claims that Mr. Mancini does not explain how his background as a broker in the food industry leads him to the conclusions he makes in his report.  The court opines that Mr. Mancini has not shown that he has the requisite experience to testify on this topic.

The plaintiff also argues that Mr. Mancini employed unreliable methodology because he bases his opinions on a subjective and selective review of deposition testimony that Xlear provided him.  The plaintiff alleges that Mr. Mancini did nothing to verify any of the testimony he relied on to present the defendant’s version of events as fact.  The court opines that Mr. Mancini’s opinions do not rest on a reliable foundation.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Tad Mancini is granted.