The sequestration of expert witnesses falls under South Dakota’s Rules of Evidence, § 19-19-615. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 19-19-615 (2017). This rule requires the court to exclude a witness from the courtroom as to not hear testimony of other witnesses when requested by a party or through an order of its own. Id. The rule has five exceptions of individuals the court cannot exclude and expert witnesses fall under the third exception. Id. The third exception is for “a person whose presence a party shows to be essential to presenting the party’s claim or defense.” Id. An expert witness will be included in the exception if it needs to hear testimony of other witnesses in order to fully form its opinions that it is to testify to. State v. Traversie, 387 N.W.2d 2 (S.D. 1986). The trial court is given discretion to decide if expert witnesses fall within the third exception, but generally if an expert is only testifying to facts it should be exempt from the exclusion rule. Id.

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