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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Testimony Excluded in ‘Hank the Cowdog’ Case

(CN) - A man waging a contract battle against the makers of the upcoming "Hank the Cowdog" movie successfully argued against the testimony of the production company's expert witness, a federal judge ruled.

Ralph Boral sued Odyssey Pictures Corporation and John Foster IV last year "related to plaintiff's employment by defendants and other contractual agreements related to the production of an animated movie based on the "Hank the Cowdog" series of children's books," according to the ruling.

Boral argued Foster shouldn't be allowed to testify as an expert in the case because he lacks education and experience in finance. He also said Foster has only worked on movies with a budget of $1 million or less.

But U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant disagreed, finding that Foster is qualified to be an expert witness.

"The court finds that, despite Foster's lack of formal education, he possesses adequate experience, knowledge, and skill to be qualified as an expert. Foster has several decades of relevant professional experience," Mazzant wrote. "During such time, he has served in executive and ownership roles in several businesses, many in media-related industries."

However, the judge granted Boral's motion to exclude Foster's expert testimony on six specific items.

Foster's testimony on financial aspects of the "Hank the Cowdog" movie would be based on his experience as an officer of Odyssey and not on specialized knowledge, Mazzant ruled. The judge also held that testimony about estimated sales is unsubstantiated and testimony about projected revenues is irrelevant because Odyssey and Foster lack standing to assert those claims.

Finally, Foster's expert testimony about payment under Boral's producer agreement must be excluded because it is an issue for the trier of fact to decide, Mazzant ruled.

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