Peter Isola Reviews Two California Supreme Court Decisions Concerning Expert Witnesses
San Francisco-based partner Peter Isola recently co-authored an update on behalf of the Business Litigation Committee of the California Lawyers Association's Business Law Section. In the update, Isola and Harold Justman review two recent decisions by the California Supreme Court involving hearsay testimony and expert witnesses.
The decisions are People v. Perez (2020) 9 Cal. 5th 1 and People v. Veamatahau (2020) 9 Cal. 5th 16. These decisions follow and develop issues previously addressed in People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, in which the Court held that an expert may not use case-specific hearsay to explain the basis for his or her opinion unless the facts are independently proven or fall within a hearsay exception.
While each case was decided in the criminal context, the authors explain how the Court's decisions, particularly Veamatahau, will guide the entire civil process as it relates to expert witnesses, from initial consultation through testimony at trial.