Testimony consisting of witnesses’ interpretation of statutory provision improper and irrelevant.

Topic: Procedure, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1512455 , Decision Date: 2015-02-20 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

After exchanging witness lists, the parties filed various motions seeking to exclude the testimony of various witnesses at the evidentiary hearing, citing evidentiary law governing relevance and expert and lay witness testimony.  In response, the Court issued an order outlining the general rules that would govern the admissibility of testimony at the hearing, which forbade expert or lay witness testimony that consisted of legal conclusions.  However, because there is no discovery under the Administrative Procedure Act, the precise substance of the witnesses’ prospective testimony remains uncertain, and the Court is unable to discern the relevance of each witness’s testimony from the limited descriptions provided in the witness lists.  Therefore, the Court is more inclined to hear the witnesses’ testimony and thereafter exclude irrelevant or otherwise deficient portions of their testimony from consideration.  Because this Court sits as both trier of fact and law, there is no danger that inclusion of potentially irrelevant testimony would affect this Court’s Decision.