expert witness


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expert witness

n. a person who is a specialist in a subject, often technical, who may present his/her expert opinion without having been a witness to any occurrence relating to the lawsuit or criminal case. It is an exception to the rule against giving an opinion in trial, provided that the expert is qualified by evidence of his/her expertise, training and special knowledge. If the expertise is challenged, the attorney for the party calling the "expert" must make a showing of the necessary background through questions in court, and the trial judge has discretion to qualify the witness or rule he/she is not an expert, or is an expert on limited subjects. Experts are usually paid handsomely for their services and may be asked by the opposition the amount they are receiving for their work on the case. In most jurisdictions, both sides must exchange the names and addresses of proposed experts to allow pre-trial depositions. (See: expert testimony)

expert witness

in the law of evidence, a witness who is allowed to give opinion evidence as opposed to evidence of his perception. This is the case only if the witness is indeed skilled in some appropriate discipline. An exception to the usual rule of practice whereby witnesses are heard one after the other and do not hear the evidence of the preceding witness is made in relation to competing experts. The term skilled witness is favoured in Scotland.
References in periodicals archive ?
A good expert witness normally will be allowed to give narrative answers, at least within some reasonable bounds.
The testimony of an expert witness has become one of the most crucial ingredients in the determination of trial success.
An expert witness is an expert who makes this knowledge and experience available to a court to help it understand the issues of a case and a thereby reach a sound and just decision.
The expert witness, who has been named the prosecution's principal expert in cellular sites, admitted that MTC touch was not able to give proper explanations for inconsistencies in the original data used in the creation of the cellular coverage maps used in the trial.
Confusingly, these consultants are often people who independently act as expert witnesses in formal disputes too.
Expert Search Group, founded by an attorney and a veteran of the expert witness industry, conducts custom searches for experts in legal matters across the United States for a flat fee that provides a cost-effective way for lawyers to retain the most qualified expert.
For the purpose of liability prevention, there are several key points that need to be included in a strong agreement for expert witness services:
Other professional credentials might also be relevant when assessing the skills of a potential expert witness. Whereas certain credentials might signify a general knowledge of financial matters, others might suggest that the holder possesses more specialized knowledge.
To be deemed an expert witness under the Daubert standard, the individual has to meet basic criteria including: was their theory or technique tested; was their theory subject to peer review; what was the rate of error on their theory; and is this theory generally accepted in the scientific community?
A director who is considering becoming an expert witness needs to know of and understand the reputational risk involved.
But the case fell apart under the new expert witness rules.
At a pretrial conference, however, Barbara advised the court she had decided not to rely on the physician as an expert witness at trial.

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