Expert Witness Reform

**PLEASE OPPOSE Senate Bill 60 & Assembly Bill 121**

 SB 60 & AB 121 - Sen. Ted Kanavas & Rep. Scott Suder

 Expert Witness Reform


 This bill attempts to restrict the ability to provide testimony from a witness or an expert witness at trial.

Reason for Opposition:
 Our jury system entrusts citizens with the responsibility of listening to the facts of the case and rendering a verdict.  Limiting their ability to do so only stands to harm the public and our legal system. The admissibility of expert testimony in Wisconsin courts turns on three prime considerations: (1) the relevancy of the testimony, (2) the witness's qualifications, and (3) the helpfulness of the expert's testimony in determining a fact in issue. 

Wisconsin judges have the power to exclude expert testimony when it is unhelpful or its probative value is substantially outweighed by other considerations, standard practice for more than twenty years.

This bill, however, replaces jurors with judges in determining reliability of experts, triggering expensive, time-consuming, and confusing hearings on the admissibility of evidence and placing unnecessary restrictions on the type of testimony that can be given by an expert witness and how it can be applied to the case. 

The current standard for expert testimony has worked effectively because it places the final determination of reliability where it belongs: in the hands of a jury of 12 impartial citizens.

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