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Specht v. Jensen

853 F.2d 805 (1988)

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Specht v. Jensen

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

853 F.2d 805 (1988)

Facts

George and June Specht (plaintiffs) sued Roger Jensen and others (defendants) for damages under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The key issues in the case were whether the Spechts had been subject to a search that qualified for Fourth Amendment protection and, if so, whether the Spechts had legally consented to that search. The Spechts called an attorney as an expert witness. Using hypothetical information that reflected the Spechts’ version of events, this attorney provided extensive testimony about what was considered a search under the Fourth Amendment and what was considered legal consent. The expert then concluded that, under the hypothetically similar situation, the hypothetical people had been subjected to an illegal search without their consent. The jury found for the Spechts. Jensen and the others appealed, arguing that the legal expert’s testimony should have been excluded. A Tenth Circuit panel affirmed the verdict. However, the issue of whether the legal expert’s testimony was admissible was reheard by the entire Tenth Circuit, en banc.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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