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08-2294 U.S. v. Olofson

By: dmc-admin//May 4, 2009//

08-2294 U.S. v. Olofson

By: dmc-admin//May 4, 2009//

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Expert witnesses; sequestration

It was not an abuse of discretion for a court to exclude the defendant's expert from the courtroom while the government's expert was testifying.

"[H]e argued that because Federal Rule of Evidence 703 permits an expert to base his opinion upon facts or data made known to him at trial, Savage 'should be allowed to be present to hear' the government expert's testimony. However, merely because Rule 703 contemplates that an expert may render an opinion based on facts or data made known at trial does not necessarily mean that an expert witness is exempt from a Rule 615 sequestration order. The text of Rule 615 plainly does not provide for such a per se exception; rather, Rule 615(3) confers discretion upon district courts to determine whether a given witness (of whatever stripe) is essential. We agree with the courts of appeals that have addressed the issue that Rule 703 is not an automatic exemption for expert witnesses from Rule 615 sequestration. Miller v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 650 F.2d 1365, 1374 (5th Cir. 1981); Morvant v. Constr. Aggregates Corp., 570 F.2d 626, 630 (6th Cir. 1978); see Opus 3, 91 F.3d at 629. Therefore, the mere mention of Rule 703 by Olofson was insufficient to show that a Rule 615(3) exception was warranted."


08-2294 U.S. v. Olofson

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Clevert, J., Manion, J.

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