United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Thomas Marten, Judge.
matter is before the court on plaintiffs John and Barbara
Brown's Motion to Exclude Certain Opinion Testimony of
Charles H. Claar, Jr. pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence
702 (Dkt. 99). Plaintiffs argue that Mr. Claar is not
qualified to give certain opinions and further that his
testimony does not comport with the legal requirements of an
expert witness. For the reasons stated below, plaintiffs'
motion is granted in part, and denied in part without
Claar received his Bachelor of Science with a concentration
in accounting from Kansas State University in 1974. Mr. Claar
has no other degrees, but he is a Certified Public Accountant
(“CPA”) with the accounting firm Lewis, Hooper
& Dick in Garden City, Kansas. Mr. Claar has provided
accounting services to defendant K&L Tank Truck Service,
Inc. (“K&L”) for decades.
filed a Disclosure of Expert Witness for Mr. Claar on
December 28, 2016, stating Mr. Claar saw K&L's
“financial information monthly from the late 1970s to
the present, he made certain accounting adjustments and
prepared monthly financial repo[rt] compilations, he prepared
K&L's tax returns, and he consulted with the
management of K&L regularly.” (Dkt. 100-2, at 2).
Mr. Claar is also identified as a fact witness for defendants
based on his participation in some of the underlying events
relevant to this case. Defendants did not retain Mr. Claar as
an expert in this case, however, several of his opinions
related to relevant facts and issues were developed during
his work as K&L's CPA.
courts are to perform a “gatekeeping” role
concerning the admission of expert testimony. See
generally Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S.
579, 589-93 (1993); Ralston v. Smith & Nephew
Richards, Inc., 275 F.3d 965, 969 (10th Cir. 2001). The
admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Fed.R.Evid.
702, which states:
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.
court performs a two-part analysis when determining whether
an expert's opinions are admissible. Marten Transp.,
Ltd. v. Plattform Advert., Inc., 184 F.Supp.3d 1006,
1009 (D. Kan. 2016). First, the court considers whether the
witness is qualified by “knowledge, skill, experience,
training, or education” to render the opinions; and
second, the court must determine whether the witness's
opinions are “reliable” under the principles set
forth in Daubert and Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. v.
Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147-48 (1999). “The
rejection of expert testimony is the exception rather than
the rule.” Marten Transp., 184 F.Supp.3d at
1009 (citing Fed.R.Evid. 702 advisory committee notes).