If you are following my copyright infringement case on the Go Fund Me, you’ve probably heard about the surprising development during expert discovery.
First a little background on expert witnesses
Federal Rule of Evidence 702 provides that an “expert witness” is a witness who has “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Generally, expert witnesses review the evidence before the Court and express an opinion about that evidence from the perspective of science or a particular art, discipline, or industry.
These witnesses, as with all the other evidence in a case, must be disclosed during discovery (which all takes place months and possibly years before a trial), and the opposing side has the option of deposing them (questioning them under oath).
For my case, we have disclosed four expert witnesses:
Bruce Webster of Ironwood Experts
Bruce Webster is a computer forensics expert who will: (1) testify about the technical issues involved in proving that a certain person is responsible for online activity, and (2) review the evidence in this case and express opinions about whether the defendant was solely responsible for the sock puppets who attacked and harassed me, posted false reviews, and so forth.
Scott Bosworth of Nathan Associates
Scott Bosworth is an economist who testify regarding the economic losses I suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.
Josi Kilpack is a successful author who will testify regarding copyright issues. She will review the evidence in this case and express opinions about the extensive copying and/or substantial similarities between Rushton’s work and the works she plagiarized.
Heather Moore is a successful author and publisher who will testify regarding publishing industry issues. She will review the evidence in this case and express opinions about the nature and impact of Rushton’s actions as they relate to the publishing business, how they were calculated to maximize her profits, and how they inflicted harm, etc.
Rushton did not disclose any expert witnesses
When my attorney let me know that the defendant didn’t disclose any witnesses, I was surprised. Why? Because this means that, at trial, Rushton will have no expert witnesses testifying on her behalf who could attempt to undermine our experts’ opinions or offer an alternative viewpoint from a technical standpoint.
I haven’t heard of that happening before in a lawsuit.
The defendant and her counsel have until the end of August 2016 to take the depositions of our expert witnesses. Once these depositions are concluded, we can move on to the next stage as we progress to trial. This “stage” will include several more motions before the judge, and I’ll update about those when they happen.
A thank you
I am very grateful for the experts who are testifying on my behalf. They are intelligent, talented, honest people—experts in every sense of the word.
And to those of you who have supported me through this case during the past two years, THANK YOU! My life took a huge deviation, but I’m back on track thanks to the great support of the writing and reading community. All your donations have gone straight to my attorney for expenses, who has worked hard and diligently on this case, despite having only received payments so far for only a tenth of his actual bill.
I could not have fought this case without you.