The sequestration of expert witnesses in New York is not statutorily codified. Instead, case law is the source of guidance. Case law provides that the trial court is given the discretion to decide whether a witness should be excluded from the courtroom. Philpot v. Fifth Ave. Coach Co., 128 N.Y.S. 35 (N.Y. App. Div. 1911). Case law also notes that the purpose of witness sequestration is to remove the risk of a witness adopting testimony heard by another witness. People v. Novak, 971 N.Y.S.2d 403 (N.Y. Cy. Ct. 2013). The Court of Appeals has held that the risk that an expert witness who is only testifying to its personal opinions will change testimony by hearing other witnesses is low, and actually, it can prove more beneficial to have experts in the courtroom because then their opinions will be based on a more full set of information. People v. Santana, 600 N.E.2d 201 (N.Y. 1992). Furthermore, the party opposing the witness’s exclusion bears the burden of showing that the witness is essential and the presence of the witness “will not prejudice the party opposed to his presence in the courtroom.” People v. Medure, 683 N.Y.S.2d 697 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1998).

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