Defendants Challenge Sacramento Brain Injury Victim’s Trial Experts, Part 5 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)


An expert witness’s testimony is that which is “[r]elated to a subject that is sufficiently beyond common experience that the opinion of an expert would assist the trier of fact,” and “based on matter (including his special knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education) perceived by or personally known to the witness or made known to him at or before the hearing … ” Evid. Code § 801(a)-(b). On direct examination an expert witness may state the reasons for his opinion and the matter, including his special knowledge, skill, experience, training and education. Evid. Code § 802.

Defendants will have every opportunity to question Mr. Goldberg about his expertise and training, and the jury will have every opportunity to weigh his testimony in light of that evidence. California’s Evidence Code provides for adequate mechanisms by which defendants’ concerns regarding the lack of Mr. Goldberg’s official degree can be addressed. Therefore, defendants’ motion should be denied.


The California Supreme Court has explained that trial courts have broad discretion in determining the qualifications of expert witnesses. People v. Ramos (1997) 15 Cal.4th 1133,1175. In another decision, the Court indicated trial courts have considerable latitude in determining an expert’s qualifications. People v. Davenport (1995) 11 Cal.4th 1171, 1207.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

As explained above and as can be seen by the attached curriculum vitae, David Goldberg has considerable experience, expertise, skill, training and special knowledge that allows him to formulate expert opinions in this case about liability, accident reconstruction and biomechanics.

Contrary to defendants’ assertions that Mr. Goldberg has only taken courses in biomechanics, Mr. Goldberg’s curriculum vitae shows that for nearly three decades Mr. Goldberg has regularly built upon his experience and expertise as a traffic accident investigator, a traffic accident reconstructionist, and a biomechanics expert. Even though he has not limited himself to one area of expertise, and even though he did not begin his educational or professional career in the pursuit of a biomechanical engineering degree, he has accumulated the experience, knowledge, expertise, skills, training and education of an expert trained by practical experience. Therefore, his qualifications, upon this court’s review, will show he is qualified to testify to biomechanical issues in this case. (See Part 6 of 6.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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