Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ager v. Jane C. Stormont Hospital & Training School for Nurses case brief

Ager v. Jane C. Stormont Hospital & Training School for Nurses
622 F.2d 496 (1980)

Facts: The Defendant, through interrogatories, wants to know the identities of all experts that the plaintiff consulted for the trial.
-The plaintiff gave some objections, but finally agreed to give the names of only those experts who were expected to testify at trial.
-The plaintiff refused, however, to give the identities of experts who were not expected to testify at trial.

-The plaintiff was held in contempt for failing to comply with the discovery orders.

Can a party discover the identities of experts the other side consulted even if these experts are not expected to testify at trial?

No, however there are very rare exceptions to this rule.

Under FRCP 26, discovery of experts who were informally consulted but will not be testifying at trial is not allowed. The court considered public policy reasons for this prohibition.
-The court stated that revealing the identities of experts will prevent experts from giving their free opinions on the matters.
-The court, however, stated that there will be some cases where identities of experts who are not expected to testify may be discovered. This requires that there be a case-by-case analysis.

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