The sequestration of expert witnesses falls under Louisiana’s Rules of Evidence, Rule 615. La. Stat. Ann. § 6:615 (2017). This rule requires the court to exclude a witness from the courtroom as to not hear testimony of other witnesses when requested by one of the parties or by its own order. Id. The court is allowed to exempt a witness from exclusion in the interests of justice. Id. There are also four exceptions to the rule, and expert witnesses fall into the third exception. Id. The third exception is for “a person whose presence is shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of his cause such as an expert.” Id. In regard to expert witnesses, the notes to the rule suggest that experts should ordinarily not be sequestered unless not sequestering them would “be manifestly unfair to another party.” Id. Additionally, if the expert is not primarily a fact witness and the expert’s presence would assist counsel and allow the expert to more fully answer questions based on what the others said in testimony, they should not be sequestered. Id. Overall, the discretion to sequester a witness is given to the trial court. State v. Beach, 610 So. 2d 908 (La. Ct. App. 1992).

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