Rule 706. Court-Appointed Experts


(a)      Appointment Process. On a party’s motion or on its own, the court may order the parties to show cause why expert witnesses should not be appointed and may ask the parties to submit nominations. The court may appoint any expert that the parties agree on and any of its own choosing. But the court may only appoint someone who consents to act.


(b)      Expert’s Role. The court must inform the expert of the expert’s duties. The court may do so in writing and have a copy filed with the clerk or may do so orally at a conference in which the parties have an opportunity to participate. The expert:


(1)   must advise the parties of any findings the expert makes;


(2)   may be deposed by any party;


(3)   may be called to testify by the court or any party; and


(4)   may be cross-examined by any party, including the party that called the expert.


(c)      Compensation. The expert is entitled to a reasonable compensation, as set by the court. The compensation is payable as follows:


(1)   in a criminal case or in a civil case involving just compensation under the Fifth Amendment, from any funds that are provided by law; and


(2)   in any other civil case, by the parties in the proportion and at the time that the court directs — and the compensation is then charged like other costs.



2011 Advisory Committee Note. – The language of this rule has been amended as part of the restyling of the Evidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility. This rule is the federal rule, verbatim.




This rule is the federal rule, verbatim. Rules 59-61 of the Uniform Rules of Evidence (1953), on which the Utah Rules of Evidence (1971) were patterned, provided for the appointment, compensation and handling of appointed expert witness testimony. These rules were not adopted in the state of Utah. The reason for the rejection is unknown. However, the Utah Supreme Court has previously indicated that a trial judge has inherent authority to call a witness. Merchants Bank v. Goodfellow, 44 Utah 349, 140 P. 759 (1914).