July 18, 2017

Expert Testimony Around the World: Getting the Straight Goods From Expert Witnesses

Expert Testimony Around the World: Getting the Straight Goods From Expert Witnesses

Written by: John A. Olah

by John A. Olah | DRI International, Vol. 6 Issue 1

The debate over expert witnesses and their testimony is not new. It is has been the subject of discussion for over 100 years. A judge of the U.S. Supreme Court lamented almost 150 years ago: 1

“…experience has shown that opposite opinions of persons professing to be experts may be obtained to any amount; and it often occurs that not only many days, but even weeks are consumed in examinations to test the skill or knowledge of such witnesses and the correctness of their opinions, wasting the time and wearying the patience of both court and jury, and perplexing instead of elucidating the questions involved in the issue.”

Similarly, Lord Chief Justice Campbell, in charging a jury in 1856 in a murder case, cautioned: 2

“With regard to the medical witnesses, I must observe that, although there were among them gentlemen of high honor, consummate integrity, and profound scientific knowledge, who came here with a sincere wish to speak the truth, there were also gentlemen whose object was to procure an acquittal of the prisoner. It is, in my opinion, indispensable to the administration of justice that a witness should not be turned into an advocate, nor an advocate into a witness.”

Read full article | DRI International, Vol. 6 Issue 1

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