Challenging the Admissibility of Expert Opinions at Trial

Janet Hoffman
Justin T. Rusk
Kent S. Robinson
Janet Hoffman | Janet Hoffman & Associates LLC
Justin T. Rusk | Janet Hoffman & Associates LLC
Kent S. Robinson | Law Offices of Kent S. Robinson
On-Demand: September 22, 2022
Challenging the Admissibility of Expert Opinions at Trial

$195.00 2 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Trials are often won or lost based on experts and the lawyer's ability to make the most of the rules governing the admissibility of expert testimony. Experts can provide valuable, even case-defining testimony. A good expert is a competent narrator who helps advance the theme of your case. The range of subject matter of relevant permissible expert testimony is only limited by the trial lawyer's creativity. But it is equally true that a successful challenge to proffered expert testimony can seriously undermine an opponent's case. Any litigator needs to be mindful of the evidentiary opportunities provided by experts, the strategies involved in identifying and using experts, and the mechanics of both qualifying and challenging expert testimony. This CLE will explore these topics through the panelist's experiences using and challenging experts in state and federal criminal cases.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Rule 702 and Daubert: Pretrial reports and hearings addressing an expert's qualifications, the basis of their opinion, and the methodology employed.
  • Strategic considerations: Evaluating a case with experts in mind; when to use an expert versus a lay witness; the outer limits of permissible "expert" testimony; challenging the basis for lay opinions.
  • The expert at trial: Effective presentation of scientific or technical methods and findings to a jury; making your case through cross examining the opponent's expert; challenging the basis and methodology.

Date: September 22, 2022

Closed-captioning available


Janeth-Hoffman_Janet-Hoffman-&-Associates-LLC_myLawCLEJanet Hoffman | Janet Hoffman & Associates LLC

Janet Hoffman is a highly experienced criminal defense attorney based in Portland, Oregon. The mission and culture of Janet Hoffman & Associates LLC is a direct reflection of Janet Hoffman’s commitment to defend and protect her clients, to be their ally and advocate, and to fight on their behalf in every instance. Ms. Hoffman is both colleague and mentor to the handpicked, highly skilled associates of the firm.

Ms. Hoffman has dedicated her career to providing the highest quality defense to all of her clients, while at the same time she strives to raise standard of practice through creative and zealous advocacy. Her mark in trade is to advance innovative, legal defenses and to promote aggressive motion practice. Ms. Hoffman has established significant legal precedent in both state and federal courts, involving a wide range of criminal issues ranging from white-collar and corporate crimes, to fraud, environmental crimes, violent crimes, corruption and sex crimes. She also is a leader in the profession through her ongoing teaching and publishing.

In the more than 30 years Janet Hoffman has practiced criminal defense, she has obtained the highest professional ratings. She is a member of the International Society of Barristers and was awarded an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell (top rating in skill and ethics by her peers). Janet is also a member of the Portland Business Journal’s BizWomen Coalition, a membership group of C-level executives and business owners.

Ms. Hoffman has been listed in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2001 and in early 2013, she was selected by her peers as the Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in the Criminal Defense: White-Collar category – Portland area. Upon being listed in Top 50 Oregon Super Lawyers in 2011, Ms. Hoffman had this to say: “Being a super lawyer means having the ability to listen carefully to the client and articulate information they would otherwise be unable to present on their own behalf. It means mastering the rules of evidence and being able to argue for your client’s best interests in ways that are new, innovative, and successful. It also means not losing sight of the fact that because of our bar licenses, we have a monopoly on this system. That monopoly requires us to maintain the highest integrity and compassion for the people we serve.”

Ms. Hoffman is a frequent speaker and instructor on topics related to voir dire, jury selection, use of demonstrative evidence, cross-examination, trial techniques, expert witness testimony, presentation of defense theories and the Oregon Evidence Code. She has taught trial practice skills in multiple states.

She began her career as a public defender and is currently a member of the Gus J. Solomon Inn of Court and an editor of the Oregon State Bar Litigation Journal. In the past, Ms. Hoffman served as a member on the Board of Governors of the Oregon State Bar, and the Board of the Multnomah Bar Association. She also served on the Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee and the ACLU Lawyers’ Committee (Northern District).

She received her BA from the University of Redlands in 1973 and her JD from Boston College Law School in 1977. She worked as a public defender until 1981, when she entered private practice.


Justin-T.-Rusk_Janet-Hoffman-&-Associates-LLC_myLawCLEJustin T. Rusk | Janet Hoffman & Associates LLC

Justin T. Rusk is a Criminal Defense Attorney with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession and is committed to providing exceptional legal representation to individuals and companies facing serious accusations. Justin’s unique experience and insight as a former federal career clerk managing complex criminal and civil case dockets informs his handling of criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings in state and federal court, government investigations and professional misconduct claims.

Prior to joining Janet Hoffman & Associates, Justin was a federal clerk in both Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Rusk has experience representing individuals and organizations in a broad range of complex criminal and regulatory matters and government investigations including securities fraud, False Claims Act violations, Controlled Substance Act violations, and matters involving cryptocurrencies. Justin has also represented individuals in professional licensing investigations including before the Oregon Medical Board and the Oregon Board of Pharmacy.

In 2021, Justin’s was nominated to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the area of Criminal Defense. Justin is licensed to practice in state and federal courts in Nevada, Oregon and Washington as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Multnomah Bar Association, the MBA Judicial Screening Committee and the Gus J. Solomon American Inn of Court.


Kent-S.-Robinson_Law-Offices-of-Kent-S.-Robinson_myLawCLEKent S. Robinson | Law Offices of Kent S. Robinson

Kent S. Robinson entered private practice in 2015 following a 35-year with the U.S. Department of Justice, including 25 years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, where he served as Chief of the Criminal Division, First Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Acting U.S. Attorney. Licensed to practice law in Oregon and in Washington, D.C., Kent’s practice specializes in dealing with state and federal regulatory officials. He has a wealth of expertise including white-collar crime, internal corporate investigations, securities fraud, Indian gaming, money laundering, and environmental crimes.

He represents Native American tribes, their members, and their employees in a variety of state and federal law enforcement disputes. During his career as a prosecutor, Kent argued more than 30 jury trials in six different federal district courts and briefed and argued dozens of cases in four different Circuit Courts of Appeal. He also served in policy-making roles in a series of national working groups and advisory committees.


I. Rule 702 and Daubert | 2:00pm – 2:45pm
II. Strategic considerations (part l) | 2:45pm – 3:00pm

Break | 3:00pm – 3:10pm

III. Strategic considerations (part ll) | 3:10pm – 3:40pm
IV. The expert at trial | 3:40pm – 4:10pm