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Appeal from the United States District Court For the Eastern District of Louisiana

We first heard this appeal in 2001, with federal jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship. As the case involved a determinative but unanswered question of Louisiana law, we filed an opinion on April 12, 2001, certifying that question to the Supreme Court of Louisiana.*fn1 The court graciously accepted our certification,*fn2 and in a unanimous opinion rendered on January 15, 2002,*fn3 answered the question we had posed by certification: “Under Louisiana law, does witness immunity bar a claim against a retained expert witness, asserted by a party who in prior litigation retained that expert, which claim arises from the expert’s allegedly deficient performance of his duties to provide litigation services, such as the formulation of opinions and recommendations, and to give opinion testimony before or during trial?”*fn4 Answering our certified question in the negative, the Supreme Court of Louisiana held that such a claim is not barred by the doctrine of witness immunity.

The operable facts and procedural history of this case are set forth in detail in Marrogi I. For purposes of this opinion, it suffices that Dr. Marrogi brought suit in a Louisiana state court against his former employer, the Tulane University School of Medicine, seeking a money judgment for alleged underbilling of his services by Tulane. Dr. Marrogi retained Howard as an expert to provide specified litigation support services. Following several purported miscues on the part of Howard, which culminated in Howard’s refusal to complete his participation in a deposition and to provide any of the other litigation support that he had contracted to furnish, Tulane filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of Dr. Marrogi’s action, and the state trial court granted Tulane’s motion.

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