When Can an Attorney Serve as an Expert Witness?

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A recent Texas case concerned the removal of a monument to a Confederate soldier from a San Antonio public park. The plaintiffs were a local San Antonio Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They sued the City of San Antonio, the Mayor, and the individual City Council members who voted for the removal of the monument pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments and asserted a state law claim of conversion. Plaintiffs sought the return of the monument and damages.

Plaintiffs asked the Court to strike the testimony of an expert designated by the City of San Antonio. The expert was a partner in a local law firm, where he was the attorney in charge of the firm’s municipal law practice. He had 17 years of experience in municipal law and as a city attorney advising cities on regulatory, due process, first amendment, and government functions issues.

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