State v. Ellis

In State v. Ellis, 748 P.2d 188 (Utah 1987), the Court noted that although an expert may be able to opine on a certain set of facts, it does not necessarily follow that only an expert may give such an opinion. In Ellis, a security guard was allowed to testify that footprints outside a broken window looked like the footprints inside the building. The Court reasoned that just because the similarity of footprints could have been scientifically determined and confirmed in testimony by an expert does not mean that an expert is the only witness capable of providing such testimony. The security guard did not need specialized knowledge to testify that the footprints looked similar because that inference would be readily drawn by any person who observed both sets of footprints.