Drawing on Expertise to ''Filter'' Existing Expert Testimony
In Batoff v. State Board of Psychology, 718 A.2d 364, 367 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998), this Court held that the State Board of Psychology could not substitute "its opinion for that of the expert witnesses who testified."
By rejecting all expert testimony offered, the board was left with no remaining evidence to support its findings.
Accordingly, the Court reversed the Board's adjudication.
Although the Supreme Court then reversed this Court, it agreed with the principle that an adjudicator may not substitute its judgment for that of an expert witness.
The Supreme Court simply concluded that the principle had not been violated by the State Board of Psychology.
Notably, the Court emphasized the obligation to begin with the facts of record:
There is every indication that the Psychology Board merely filtered the existing expert testimony and ample documentary evidence through the lens of its own collective expertise, which, under the circumstances, was the expected, proper, and fair way to proceed. Batoff v. State Board of Psychology, 561 Pa. 419, 428, 750 A.2d 835, 840.
In short, drawing on expertise is appropriate when used to "filter" "existing expert testimony and ample documentary evidence." Id.