United States District Court, D. New Jersey
GRANDE VILLAGE LLC, GRANDE PROPERTIES, LLC, WILLINGBORO TOWN CENTER URBAN RENEWAL NORTH, LLC, WILLINGBORO TOWN CENTER NORTH MANAGER, LLC, WILLIAM T. JULIANO, and THOMAS E. JULIANO, Plaintiffs,
CIBC INC. and CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE, NEW YORK AGENCY, Defendants.
L. BRAVERMAN BENJAMIN ALEX GARBER PETER J. LEYH BRAVERMAN
KASKEY, P.C. On behalf of the Juliano Parties
K. DERMAN DAVID M. DUGAN CHIESA SHAHINIAN & GIANTOMASI PC
On behalf of CIBC
JEAN-MARIE L. ATAMIAN (admitted pro hac vice) JORDAN
SAGALOWSKY (admitted pro hac vice) JAMES C. DUPONT (admitted
pro hac vice) MAYER BROWN LLP On behalf of CIBC
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
a breach of contract matter involving various loan and
mortgage documents arising out of real estate developments in
New Jersey. The Court assumes the parties are familiar with
the background facts of this case and will not recite them
here. On March 30, 2018, the Court granted in part and denied
in part a motion for summary judgment. The remaining claims
will be resolved at a bench trial before the
undersigned. On May 21, 2018, CIBC filed two motions in
limine seeking to exclude the expert testimony of Alan
Fellheimer and Hal Michels. For the reasons that follow, the
Court will deny both motions, which seek total exclusion of
the experts. The Court will, however, order restrictions on
each expert's testimony and guidelines for what is
permissible and what is not.
Rule of Evidence 702 provides:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education may testify in the form of
an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Third Circuit has described the requirements of Federal Rule
of Evidence 702 as a “trilogy of restrictions on expert
testimony: qualification, reliability and fit.”
Calhoun v. Yamaha Motor Corp., 350 F.3d 316, 321 (3d
Cir. 2003) (quoting Schneider ex rel. Estate of Schneider
v. Fried, 320 F.3d 396, 405 (3d Cir. 2003)).
“[T]he district court acts as a gatekeeper, preventing
opinion testimony that does not meet the requirements of
qualification, reliability and fit from reaching the
jury.” Schneider, 320 F.3d at 404.
witness “must be qualified to testify as an
expert.” Calhoun, 350 F.3d at 321. This
“requires ‘that the witness possess specialized
expertise.'” Id. (quoting
Schneider, 320 F.3d at 405). However, the Third
Circuit “interpret[s] this requirement liberally,
” and an expert can be qualified through “a broad
range of knowledge, skills, and training.” Id.
(quoting In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Litig., 35 F.3d
717, 741 (3d Cir. 1994)). This “liberal policy of
admissibility extends to the substantive as well as the
formal qualification of experts.” In re Paoli,
35 F.3d at 741. The Third Circuit has “eschewed
imposing overly rigorous requirements of expertise and ha[s]
been satisfied with more generalized qualifications.”
is an abuse of discretion to exclude testimony simply because
the trial court does not deem the proposed expert to be the
best qualified or because the expert does not have the
specialization that the court considers most
appropriate.” Lauria v. AMTRAK, 145 F.3d 593,
598-99 (3d Cir. 1998) (quoting Holbrook v. Lykes Bros.
S.S. Co., 80 F.3d 777, 782 (3d Cir. 1996)). Indeed,
experts can be qualified “on the basis of practical
experience alone, and a formal degree, title, or educational
specialty is not required.” Id.
“[I]nsistence on a certain kind of degree or background
is inconsistent” with Third Circuit jurisprudence.
In re Paoli, 916 F.2d at 855.
expert witness's “testimony must be
reliable.” Calhoun, 350 F.3d at 321. “To
establish reliability, the testimony ‘must be based on
the methods and procedures of science rather than on
subjective belief or unsupported speculation; the expert must
have good grounds for his . . . belief.'”
Furlan v. Schindler Elevator Corp., 516
Fed.Appx. 201, 205 (3d Cir. 2013) (quoting
Schneider, 320 F.3d at 404). “In Daubert
v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S.
579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993), the Supreme
Court charged trial judges with the responsibility of acting
as ‘gatekeepers' to exclude unreliable expert
testimony.” Calhoun, 350 F.3d at 320-21
(quoting Daubert, 509 U.S. at 597).
Rule of Evidence 703 provides:
An expert may base an opinion on facts or data in the case
that the expert has been aware of or personally observed. If
experts in the particular field would reasonably rely on
those kinds of facts or data in forming an opinion on the
subject, they need not be admissible for the opinion to be
admitted. But if the facts or data would otherwise be
inadmissible, the proponent of the opinion may disclose them
to the jury only if their ...