Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Expert Testimony into State of Mind or Motivation of an Individual as Inadmissible

“Inferences about the intent or motive of parties or others lie outside the bounds of expert testimony.” Highland Capital Mgmt., L.P. v. Schneider, 551 F. Supp.2d 173, 182 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (excluding an expert’s testimony regarding various individuals’ beliefs as to, inter alia, the value of the securities at issue in that case, and holding that “throughout the Report, [the expert] commonly interjects his opinion as to the state of mind and knowledge possessed by defendants and non-parties to this action,” and “[n]one of this speculation is admissible.” (quoting In re Rezulin Prods. Liab. Lit., 309 F. Supp.2d 531, 547 (S.D.N.Y. 2004)); Brazier v. Hasbro, Inc., No. 11258/99, 2004 WL 515536, at *7 (S.D.N.Y. March 16, 2004) (engineer not permitted to testify about a toddler’s motivation in placing a toy in its mouth because, inter alia, he had no training in “child psychology or behavior that renders him specially qualified” and “[e]ven if [the expert] were qualified to provide expert testimony about [the toddler’s] intent, his opinion would have to be . . . speculative because . . . the actions of other children cannot illuminate what was in [the toddler’s] mind when he put the ball in his mouth”); McKnight v. Dormitory Authority of State, 189 F.R.D. 225, 231 (N.D.N.Y. 1999) (excluding psychologist’s expert testimony as to a party’s “specific response in this particular instance”).

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