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Plaintiff seeks to hold these directors liable for decisions by the entire Cadant Board in 20 regarding third party indications of interest to finance or possibly acquire Cadant. It is a question of law, to be resolved by the court." Id. Thus, under Rule 702, courts have consistently excluded experts who proffer testimony on the law governing the case. Plaintiff alleges fiduciary breaches by four individuals—Eric Copeland, C. Randolph Lyon, Stephan Oppenheimer, and Charles Walker—who served on Cadant's board of directors at different times, and for different durations. 1994), the Seventh Circuit explained that by improperly allowing an expert to testify about the applicable legal standards, the trial court had "left the jury adrift and permitted it to return a verdict on a basis that may have been legally and factually flawed." Id. The meaning of the governing law "is not a question of fact, to be resolved by the jury after a battle of experts. Defendants seek to exclude the testimony of Plaintiff's expert witness on corporate governance, M. Specifically, Defendants argue he is not qualified to serve as an expert, and further maintain he is not permitted to offer an opinion that embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact. 2007), in which a lawyer was excluded as an expert in a legal malpractice action because, even though the attorney "has considerable experience as a lawyer in the Indianapolis community, there is no specialized training, experience, or education in [his] background that would qualify him as an expert on matters of legal malpractice." Id. Defendants use this case to argue neither Henderson's abbreviated experience as an appellate and regulatory lawyer; nor his three-year sabbatical from the law; nor his foray into academia qualifies him to testify about the requirements of fiduciary duty law. Navistar International Transportation Corp., 30 F.3d 898 (7th Cir. Kyle is permitted to testify as set forth in this opinion. From this default, the lender and board member Defendants would obtain the debtor's assets.
The Defendant board members' fiduciary duties will be a key issue for the jury instructions. Allowing experts to testify about their interpretations of the law would usurp the judge's role as law-giver, and "[i]t is not for witnesses to instruct the jury as to applicable principles of law, but the judge." Panter v. Defendants contend this reasoning would also bar Henderson. In sum, Henderson is qualified pursuant to Rule 702 to testify as an expert in the field of corporate governance, as he possesses sufficient training and experience in that he is a law professor; a specialist in the field of corporate law; a lawyer; a published author regarding a variety of corporate law topics; a former management consultant; and has had dealings with in excess of twenty separate boards of directors.
CDX LIQUIDATING TRUST by the CDX LIQUIDATING TRUSTEE, Plaintiff, v. The motion was granted in part, but denied with respect to Plaintiff's claims for breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy to breach fiduciary duties, and equitable subordination.
Defendants moved to strike the entire complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 7012(b)(6).
Judge Guzman found, inter alia, that (1) although certain Defendants had waived their right to a jury trial by filing proofs of claim, they were entitled to rely on the Trustee's jury demand; (2) given Defendants' repeated refusal to consent to a jury trial in the bankruptcy court, any trial in this case must take place in the district court; (3) although a withdrawal of reference was not appropriate at that time, the court would reconsider the matter when the case was ready for trial; and (4) the bankruptcy judge should preside over all pre-trial matters through the close of discovery.
In October 2006, Plaintiff filed a motion to withdraw reference.
On February 12, 2007, Judge Guzman recused himself. On March 9, 2007, Judge Filip reinstated the case, deemed the Plaintiff's motion filed instanter, and ordered the parties stand on previously filed briefs.