Richards Layton & Finger
 

Judge Andrews Denies Motions to Exclude Expert Witnesses in a Bench Trial

September 1, 2016

In Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. & Novartis AG v. Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc., et al., C.A. Nos. 14-1043, 14-1196, and 14-1289 (D. Del. Aug. 18, 2016), Judge Andrews denied the parties’ motions to exclude each other’s expert witnesses. Noting that a judge’s role as a “gatekeeper” is not as critical in a bench trial, Judge Andrews found that “[l]ive testimony and cross-examination are much more likely to result in a correct decision from me about whether the experts are giving appropriate scientific testimony.” Thus, Judge Andrews reserved both side’s rights to renew their objections to the expert testimony at the appropriate time during trial. He noted that he “will only consider evidence actually adduced at trial (whether through cross-examination or testimony from other witnesses) in ruling on any renewed motion.”

Key Points: This ruling is in line with Judge Andrews’ inclination to address expert issues at trial when no jury is involved.