Expert Witnesses

An intelligent evaluation of facts is often difficult or impossible without the application of some scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge. The most common source of this knowledge is the expert witness, although there are other techniques for supplying it.

Whether the situation is a proper one for the use of expert testimony is to be determined on the basis of assisting the trier. The fields of knowledge which may be drawn upon are not limited merely to the “scientific” and “technical” but extend to all “specialized” knowledge. Similarly, the expert is viewed, not in a narrow sense, but as a person qualified by “knowledge, skill, experience, training or education.” Thus within the scope of the rule are not only experts in the strictest sense of the word, e.g., physicians, physicists, and architects, but also the large group sometimes called “skilled” witnesses, such as bankers or landowners testifying to land values.

The use of expert witnesses has changed in response to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), and to the many cases applying Daubert, including Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 119 S.Ct. 1167 (1999). In Daubert the Court charged trial judges with the responsibility of acting as gatekeepers to exclude unreliable expert testimony, and the Court in Kumho clarified that this gatekeeper function applies to all expert testimony, not just testimony based in science. See also Kumho, 119 S.Ct. at 1178. The proponent has the burden of establishing that the pertinent admissibility requirements are met by a preponderance of the evidence. See Bourjaily v. United States, 483 U.S. 171 (1987).

Daubert set forth a non-exclusive checklist for trial courts to use in assessing the reliability of scientific expert testimony. The specific factors explicated by the Daubert Court are (1) whether the expert's technique or theory can be or has been tested—that is, whether the expert's theory can be challenged in some objective sense, or whether it is instead simply a subjective, conclusory approach that cannot reasonably be assessed for reliability; (2) whether the technique or theory has been subject to peer review and publication; (3) the known or potential rate of error of the technique or theory when applied; (4) the existence and maintenance of standards and controls; and (5) whether the technique or theory has been generally accepted in the scientific community. The Court in Kumho held that these factors might also be applicable in assessing the reliability of nonscientific expert testimony, depending upon “the particular circumstances of the particular case at issue.” 119 S.Ct. at 1175.

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Alfred W. Schneble

Alfred W. Schneble

Born Dayton, Ohio, November 4, 1956; admitted to the Ohio bar 1981; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio in 1982; admitted to the Florida bar 1983; U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1985; U.S. Tax Court (1994).


Alter High School (1974); Marquette University (B.S., 1978); Ohio Northern University (J.D. 1981).


Dayton Bar Association (since 1981); Dayton Bar’s Grievance Committee (2004) to date; Cincinnati Bar Association 2007 ? to date; Ohio State Bar Association (since 1981); Florida Bar Association (since 1983); Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers (since 2000); American Bankruptcy Law Forms (since 1993).

Practice Areas

Legal and Medical Malpractice; Civil Litigation; Corporate Law and Contract Litigation; Personal Injury and Wrongful Death; Liquor Licensing; Tax Appeals and Tax Court Litigation; Bankruptcy Reorganization; Bankruptcy Litigation; Real Estate; Probate; Divorce; Traffic Law including DUI.

Teaching Experience

Seminars presented for: Dayton Bar Association (Tax debts 4/95); American Bankruptcy Law Forum (Offers in Compromise 1995); Professional Education (LLCs 11/97); National Business Institute (Expert Witnesses 12/98); Personal Injury Settlements (6/01); Medical Malpractice (3/02); Choice of Business Entity in Ohio (3/04), LLCs in Ohio (9/04); Bankruptcy Abuse Pension Consumer Protection Act (9/05 and 6/06); Civil Litigation (12/05); Divorce Law (12/06) Lorman Education Services (Collection Law 10/96), Confidentiality of Medical Records (1/03); Ohio Institute of Photography – Business Law 1984; Conviser Miller – CPA Review Course 1986-1988.

Expert Witness Experience

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in real estate law and reasonableness of attorney fees in divorce cases; Legal Eagles program with Dayton Bar Association and Fox 45 TV; reviewed cases as an expert in legal malpractice claims.

Published Cases

Over 34 state and federal cases published for stare decisis. Available upon request.

Representative clients

Over 100 national franchises and/or state corporate entities, financial institutions, and various nonprofit entities.