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Testimony by an Expert Witnesses

Should the testimony of expert witnesses by allowed? Provide some examples of situations in which expert testimonies might be suspect. Locate articles or cases in which the testimony of an expert was in question.

Please include references.

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RESPONSE:

1. Should the testimony of expert witnesses by allowed? Provide some examples of situations in which expert testimonies might be suspect. Locate articles or cases in which the testimony of an expert was in question.

This question is straightforward, but controversial. In fact, the credibility and admissibility of evidence from expert witnesses has recently come under challenge. An expert witness is a witness, who by virtue of education, profession, publication or experience, is believed to have special knowledge of his or her subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon his opinion. In most systems, the trial (or the procedure) can be suspended in order to allow the experts to study the case and produce their results.

However, most would agree that scientific and expert testimony is crucially important to modern litigation. Most would also agree, however, that it also important to manage expert witnesses and the actual testimony to be under close scrutiny and to not rely on a single expert by have a number of expert witnesses to compare on opinions in each area of expertise e.g., multiple sources (see attached article for other solutions).

Another precautionary measure to take given the recent questioning of the admissibility of expert testimony since Daubert (1993, according to Cheng (2007), is for judges to make themselves knowledgeable through researching the area. Specifically, Cheng (2007) advocates for a neglected but important method for improving scientific decision-making-independent judicial research. It argues that judges facing unfamiliar and complex scientific admissibility decisions can and should engage in independent library research to better educate themselves about the underlying principles and methods (http://litilaw.lexbe.com/index.htm?Query=Expert%20Witnesses&Search=Search&Mode=2).

Third, expert witnesses should also be researched as to the admissibility of their testimony. For example, Brennan, Canfield, Dilenschneider, Levin, & Robinson (2007) in Finding and Researching Experts and Their Testimony, ...

Solution Summary

This soltuion discusses whether or not the testimony of expert witnesses should be allowed, providing examples of situations or cases in which expert testimonies might be suspect or was in question.

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