(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Mr. Black’s Opinions Are Based on Proper Matters and Do Not Constitute Legal Conclusions.
Defendants then argue that Mr. Black’s opinions are based on improper matters, e.g., speculative and incomplete facts, and constitute legal conclusions which invade the province of the Court and the jury. Mr. Black lists the information upon which he relied to formulate his expert opinions in this case on page 4 of his Expert Report. That information includes, inter alia, the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing Sexual Harassment Case Analysis Manual, defendants’ internal memoranda and administrative manuals with respect to sexual harassment policy in general and this case in particular, and transcripts of the depositions taken by plaintiffs and defendants in this matter. Defendants do not even attempt to explain how this information constitutes speculation or conjecture — which actually would be improper — or why this is not the kind of information experts reasonably rely upon in forming an opinion on the subject matter involved.
Further, as with their argument that Mr. Black’s opinions exceed the scope of his designation, the only “opinions” to which defendants refer are Mr. Black’s conclusions that plaintiffs have established a prima facie case of sexual harassment, including the failure to prevent sexual harassment, and retaliation, and were deprived of their right to privacy. Defendants conveniently ignore all the opinions set forth in his Expert Report which led Mr. Black to reach those conclusions.
Please refer, for example, to the Enumerated Policy Failures listed on pages 13 through 14 and the section entitled “Conclusion” on pages 19 through 20. Of course, the fact that those opinions support a certain conclusion on the ultimate issues in plaintiffs’ sexual harassment claim does not render them inadmissible as legal conclusions. Rarely, if ever, does an expression of opinion . . . not amount to that which either the court or jury might adopt as a basis for the ultimate decision in the case. However, that does not mean the witness is deciding the case or usurping the jury’s function. He is merely giving an opinion . . . which the court may or may not accept. Wells Truckways v. Cebrian (1954) 122 Cal.App.2d 666, 674. (See Part 6 of 7.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.