United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the court is the Defendants' Joint Motion to
Exclude the Report and Potential Testimony of Plaintiff's
Expert, Kale Kirkland, Ph.D. Doc. 67. Upon consent of the
parties, the case was referred to the United States
Magistrate Judge to conduct all proceedings and order the
entry of a final judgment in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §
636(c). Doc. 103.
Sharon Robinson has offered a report prepared by Kirkland to
demonstrate that she suffered emotional distress from the
events forming the basis of her claims in this case. Kirkland
is a forensic psychologist who issued a report about Robinson
after conducting a clinical interview and examination,
reviewing collateral information, and administering a
personality inventory test. Doc. 73-2. Kirkland expressed the
opinion that Robinson exhibits symptoms of depression and
anxiety, including trauma-like symptoms, and continues to
experience psychological distress in relation to her period
of employment with Defendant Alabama State University
(“ASU”). Doc. 73-2. Kirkland recommended that
Robinson seek outpatient mental health treatment. Doc. 73-2.
defendants have moved to exclude Kirkland's opinions
included both in the report and in anticipated testimony.
After review of the motion, briefs, Kirkland's report,
and the applicable law, the court concludes that the motion
is due to be DENIED.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule
of Evidence 702, which provides:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education may testify in the form of
an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
702, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, “assign[s] to
the trial judge the task of ensuring that an expert's
testimony both rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant
to the task at hand.” Daubert v. Merrell Dow
Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 587 (1993). This
“gatekeeping function is important to ensure that
speculative, unreliable expert testimony does not reach the
jury under the mantle of reliability that accompanies the
appellation expert testimony.” Rink v. Cheminova,
Inc., 400 F.3d 1286, 1291 (11th Cir. 2005) (quotation
and citation omitted).
determining the admissibility of expert testimony under Rule
702, this court must conduct a rigorous three-part inquiry,
considering whether: (1) the expert is qualified to testify
competently regarding the matters he intends to address; (2)
the methodology by which the expert reaches his conclusions
is sufficiently reliable as determined by the sort of inquiry
mandated in Daubert; and (3) the testimony assists
the trier of fact through the application of scientific,
technical, or specialized expertise to ...