Zwillinger, 1998 WL 623589, at *10 (citing Daubert, 509 U.S.
at 591, 113 S.Ct. at 2796). This "means that the expert's opinion
must relate to an issue that is actually in dispute and must
provide a valid . . . connection to the pertinent inquiry.'"
Graham, 993 F. Supp. at 130 (quoting Margaret A. Berger,
Procedural Paradigms for Applying the Daubert Test, 78 Minn.
L.Rev. 1345, 1351 (1994)).
Primarily for the reasons discussed in the preceding section,
the court finds that Havemeyer's testimony will not be helpful to
the jury in understanding or determining how the subject property
should be valued. The court stresses that it is rejecting
Havemeyer's proffered valuation testimony, not because of the
conclusions which he reaches,*fn6 but because of the manner in
which he applied his chosen methodology — the sales comparison
approach — and the questionable reliability of his underlying
sales data. And while it is true that "conclusions and
methodologies are not entirely distinct[,]" given that "[t]rained
experts commonly extrapolate from existing data[,] . . . nothing
in Daubert or the Federal Rules of Evidence requires a district
court to admit opinion evidence which is connected to existing
data only by the ipse dixit of the expert." General Elec. Co.
v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136, 118 S.Ct. 512, 519, 139 L.Ed.2d 508
(1997). "A court may conclude that there is simply too great an
analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered." Id.
That is precisely the situation here. Just because Mr. Havemeyer
testified that his appraisal was "absolutely" MAI*fn7 quality
does not make it so. See Tr. II at 382.
Before concluding its discussion of Havemeyer's testimony, the
court notes that he freely admitted that he "did [not] do a
complete analysis of each sale[,]" due to time and budget
constraints. Id. at 341. While the court is sympathetic to
these constraints, the fact remains that the other appraisers
were operating under similar constraints; but that did not
prevent them from developing formulas and presenting data which
the court deems reliable for purposes of Daubert.
Standing alone, any one of the deficiencies outlined in this
section probably would not cause the court to question the
reliability of either Mr. Havemeyer's data, or his method of
applying the same to the present case. The cumulative effect of
the foregoing, and considering Mr. Havemeyer's testimony and
report as a whole, lead the court to conclude, however, that his
"analysis rests on faulty assumptions," and thus it is lacking in
probative value. See, e.g., Raskin v. Wyatt Co., 125 F.3d 55,
67-68 (2d Cir. 1997). In addition, particularly because the court
is not persuaded that the manner in which Havemeyer applied the
sales comparison approach is reliable, the court finds that his
fair market value analysis resulted in an "apples and oranges
comparison," thus mandating exclusion of his testimony. See
Boucher, 73 F.3d at 21. Furthermore, for the reasons set forth
herein, the court is not convinced that Havemeyer's testimony
bears sufficient indicia of reliability to render it admissible.
In sum, because Havemeyer's testimony as to property valuation is
neither reliable nor relevant, it has no place in the upcoming
trial as to damages.
3. Hale and Dorchester
The valuation issues which this case presents are issues of
first impression. That does not mean, however, that the testimony
of Messrs. Hale and Dorchester,
who both freely admitted to developing their respective valuation
methodologies for first-time use in this case, should be
precluded from testifying. The court finds no basis for
precluding the suggested appraisal methods of either Hale or
Dorchester because, in its opinion, at least at this juncture,
both methodologies are reliable and relevant. In this regard,
despite what the State often implied during its cross-examination
of Havemeyer and Hale, the grounds for the experts' opinions do
not have to be perfect; they "merely have to be good[.]" See
Graham, 993 F. Supp. at 133 (quoting In re Paoli Railroad Yard
PCB Litigation, 35 F.3d 717, 744 (3rd Cir. 1994)). Thus, even if
perhaps there are some flaws in the methodologies proffered by
Hale or Dorchester, or both, that alone does not render
inadmissible their opinions. Having found that the testimony of
these two appraisers is both reliable and relevant, the court
notes, as did the Supreme Court in Daubert, that "[v]igorous
cross-examination, presentation of contrary evidence, and careful
instruction on the burden of proof are the traditional and
appropriate means" of challenging the testimony of Hale and
After listening to the testimony of Hale and Dorchester, and
after carefully reviewing each of their reports, the court is
satisfied that their respective methodologies rest on a reliable
foundation and will assist the jury in deciding the property
valuation issue which is now at the heart of this lawsuit. Simply
put, in exercising its function as gatekeeper, because the court
has determined that the proffered opinions of both Hale and
Dorchester pass muster under Daubert, it is "for the jury to
decide which, if either, expert witnesses' testimony it [chooses]
to accept." See Trumps v. Toastmaster, Inc. 969 F. Supp. 247,
253 n. 7 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).
For the reasons set forth herein, as the court indicated at the
close of the Daubert hearing, it grants the State of New York's
motion to preclude the testimony of John F. Havemeyer, III; but
it denies the State's motion to preclude the testimony of Arvel
M. Hale, and likewise, it denies the motions by the Tribal
plaintiffs and the United States to preclude the testimony of
John D. Dorchester, Jr.
IT IS SO ORDERED.