Arizona Expert Witness to Be Tested – An Alert for CPAs Who Testify (Part 1)

Demystifying Valuation, Economic Damages + Forensic Accounting

If you provide testimony as an expert witness, you could soon be facing some new challenges from opposing attorneys regarding the opinions you will be rendering in the courtroom.  Effective January 1, 2012, Arizona joined several other states that have adopted the Federal Rules of Evidence relating to expert witnesses, i.e., the “Daubert”   standard.

Senate Bill 1189 to ARS §12-2203

In 2010, Senate Bill 1189 was enacted into law by the Arizona Legislature as Arizona Revised Statute, Section 12-2203, which states the following:

12-2203. Admissibility of expert opinion testimony
A.  In a civil or criminal action, only a qualified witness may offer expert opinion testimony regarding scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge and the testimony is admissible if the court determines that all of the following apply:
1. The witness is qualified to offer an opinion as an expert on the subject matter based on knowledge, skill, experience, training or education.
2. The opinion will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or determining a fact in issue.
3. The opinion is based on sufficient facts and data.
4. The opinion is the product of reliable principles and methods.
5. The witness reliably applies the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

B. The court shall consider the following factors, if applicable, in determining whether the expert testimony is admissible pursuant to subsection A:
1. Whether the expert opinion and its basis have been or can be tested.
2. Whether the expert opinion and its basis have been subjected to peer reviewed publications.
3. The known or potential rate of error of the expert opinion and its basis.
4. The degree to which the expert opinion and its basis are generally accepted in the scientific community.