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Is There a Doctor in the House?: 11th Circuit Remands After Lower Court’s Erroneous Rule 706 Ruling, posted by Colin Miller, EvidenceProf Blog


This post discusses an Alabama District Court’s and 11th Circuit Court of Appeal’s interpretation of Rule 706(a) of the Federal Rule of Evidence in a prisoner’s lawsuit in which he claims that he has Hepatitis C, his illness is not being treated and, without treatment, he will become sicker and die. -CCE

Federal Rule of Evidence 706(a) provides that:

On a party’s motion or on its own, the court may order the parties to show cause why expert witnesses should not be appointed and may ask the parties to submit nominations. The court may appoint any expert that the parties agree on and any of its own choosing. But the court may only appoint someone who consents to act.

As you can see from the language of Rule 706(a), there is nothing in the Rule’s text limiting expert appointment to either criminal or civil cases. So where did that leave the plaintiff in Gillentine v. Correctional Medical Services, 2014 WL 701575 (11th Cir. 2014)?