California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

4010. Limiting Instruction - Expert Testimony

You have heard testimony by an expert witness regarding reports and statements from hospital staff and other persons who have come into contact with [name of respondent]. This testimony was admitted for the limited purpose of establishing the basis for the opinion expressed by the testifying expert. You may consider those reports and statements to help you examine the basis of the expert's opinion. You may not use the reports and statements as independent proof of respondent's mental condition or [his/her] ability to provide for food, clothing, or shelter.

Sources and Authority

Evidence Code section 355 provides: "When evidence is admissible as to one party or for one purpose and is inadmissible as to another party or for another purpose, the court upon request shall restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly."

"A psychiatrist is permitted to testify on a person's mental capacities and can rely on hearsay including statements made by the patient or by third persons." (Conservatorship of Torres (1986) 180 Cal.App.3d 1159, 1163 [226 Cal.Rptr. 142].)

"When records are admitted . . . a limiting instruction need not be given, sua sponte, but must be given upon request of counsel." (Conservatorship of Buchanan (1978) 78 Cal.App.3d 281, 288 [144 Cal.Rptr. 241], internal citation omitted, disapproved on other grounds in Conservatorship of Early (1983) 35 Cal.3d 244, 255 [673 P.2d 209, 197 Cal.Rptr. 539].)

(New June 2005)