Who is qualified as a Crypto Expert?
A judge’s decision to reject a witness shows that not everyone can be an ‘expert” in crypto cases.
In a lawsuit, an expert witness could win a case by helping the court understand the technical or scientific evidence. That is, if the court decides the expert is not worth hearing. It is what happened last week when a judge, first time having a crypto case, rejected evidence for the expert’s opinion had “no reliable basis.”
The case is a lesser known project named Nano that issued tokens with the ticker XRB. Hackers broke into an exchange that stores XRB. And then token holders filed a class action lawsuit accusing the individuals behind the Nano project.
How can a Crypto Expert be Rejected?
Most of the charges have been thrown out, but still a lot are being disputed. Which is what led lawyers for the XRB holders to file an expert report for their claims to be supported. Regrettably for the plaintiffs, David Weisberger, the person they chose, lacked the required expertise. The judge even took a unique step of throwing his report altogether.
The judge blasted Weisberger’s report as based mostly on social media and is lacking methodology. Stating that he possessed “a woeful lack of knowledge about XRB.”
The decision is remarkable because it is unusual for a judge to reject an expert’s testimony and it suggests courts could be growing even more familiar with cryptocurrency. Also, the credentials needed to serve as an expert witness about the topic.
Weisberger has a background in financial markets and he has a crypto-related company named Coin Routes, but his lack of familiarity with the Nano project seemed to have sunk him as a witness.
The judge stated that expert witnesses won’t always have to present a review of scientific literature when an issue is “new” or “particular,” like the case with crypto. However, she added that the “intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field.” must be shown.
Are you an expert?
Peter Fox, the representative of Nano, says that courts in future crypto cases can expect witnesses to have advanced credentials in computer science of other related fields. He added that the law firms will turn to big crypto companies to give expert witnesses for crypto cases.
It seems that many will grab the chance to offer themselves as crypto authorities. In Weisberger’s case, court records showed that he charged rates of $500 to $750 per hour, earning more than $10,000 for his time.
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