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NJ App Div Limits Inquiry Into Expert's Finances And Litigation History.

November 23, 2010

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In Gensollen v. Pareja, the New Jersey Appellate Division considered the extent to which a party may inquire into an expert's finances and litigation history in order to prove bias at trial. The defense medical expert, Dr. Ronald Gerson, had testified at a deposition as to the number of IME's he conducted per week, the fees per exam and the fact that more than 95% of his litigation work was for defendant's. Subsequent to the deposition , the trial court compelled Dr. Gerson to create and produce, at his own expense , a significant amount of additional discovery.

The Appellate Division reversed finding that the trial judge abused his discretion in compelling additional discovery since the expert had already provided sufficient information at his deposition to allow the requesting party to argue to a jury that the expert was a "professional witness" or "hired gun". The Court concluded that , " the pursuit of discovery from an expert is neither limitless nor may it continue unceasingly until the expert cries "uncle" and concedes positional bias." The Court emphasized that it found no evidence that Dr. Gerson had failed to provide accurate estimates or testimony regarding his litigation services.

Please contact Robert Ball with any questions regarding this post.

<a href="http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a0401-10.pdf">http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a0401-10.pdf</a>

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