determining the qualifications of an alleged expert.
While we do not think it is necessary that an expert hold a degree or be certified, we cannot help but wonder that a person who claims such broad activities in the field of engineering would not have been a member of at least one organization or society dedicated to the improvement of that profession.
Concluding this point, there is no question but what the qualifications of the expert are left to the discretion of the judge; the weight and credibility of the testimony submitted after qualification is for the jury. Also the possession of the required qualifications must be expressly shown by the party offering the expert. This entire subject is carefully covered and discussed in Wigmore On Evidence, Vol., 2, beginning at §§ 555 through 563. There are a multitude of Law Review articles and discussions on this matter but we have been unable to find a case where the issue has been expressly decided which is before us at this time. There is little difficulty in determining the qualifications of a doctor, psychiatrist, accountant, chemist, physicist, ballistic expert or other particularly defined regions of scientific knowledge, largely because the expert comes into Court clothed with certain recorded and attained achievements which stamp him as having particular knowledge in his field. The difficulties of the problem arise where one acts as an expert but speaks as a layman.
Since we are unaware of any standard of proof of qualifications we believe that something more than the self-serving statement of the expert should be required to qualify him in the absence of proven recorded achievements in his chosen field, such as corroboration by another witness or submission of oral or documentary corroborating proof of his qualifications. We will, therefore, Order a new trial, since on reflection we de not believe on the record the witness qualified as an expert.
One other feature of this case bears some comment. Counsel for defendant Hobart after the verdict asked leave to take the deposition of the expert for the purpose of convincing the Court that a new trial should be granted on the basis of after discovered evidence. While the procedure was somewhat unusual, the Court permitted the deposition to be taken in its presence, reserving, of course the determination as to whether any proof adduced in the deposition would constitute after discovered evidence. We will not go into detail as to what developed there, as it is part of the record, but in summary defendant Hobart confronted the expert with his testimony presented in a case in the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1958. The gist of that testimony was that while employed by Norden Bombsight Company the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the person of a Mr. Brown had requested that he not resign from that company but that he stay on as an employee and assist the Bureau in an investigation which they were making. It appeared that on March 15, 1960, counsel for Hobart had written to J. Edgar Hoover regarding the testimony given in the Pittsburgh case. Over the signature of Mr. Hoover counsel received a letter which completely refuted the statement of the expert. Without further detail the Court states unequivocally that in view of the proof submitted at the deposition the Court is convinced that it can place no credibility on the testimony of this witness in that particular case. On the other hand, counsel for plaintiff stated in its brief that defendant Hobart knew the witness would be called as an expert in our case for one year prior to the trial before us. Furthermore, the witness did not make any reference in his testimony in the case before us to any work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, although he did testify as to working for Norden Bombsight Company. In addition, had this testimony been adduced at the trial before us whether or not it would have gone to the weight of his testimony is conjecture and in any event only his qualifications were for the Court; the credibility for the jury. For these reasons we do not believe that Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as limited and qualified by Rule 60(b)(2) authorizes the granting of a new trial on the basis of after discovered evidence on the record before us.
And now, to wit, this 22 day of August, 1960, It Is Hereby Ordered that the motion for judgment non obstante veredicto is Denied and the motion for a new trial as to both defendants is Granted, limited to the issue of liability.