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 ?
Marra also called on Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to meet Black, of Dundee University, and other expert witnesses to discuss how the legal system may be better served through improved scientific understanding.
As a trial lawyer who has tried cases for 35 years in many states, I believe this is the resource on expert witnesses that all litigators must have on their desks and in their briefcases," said Barry Mesher, partner at Lane Powell PC.
And even in criminal cases, in many civil law countries it is possible that, apart from experts appointed by the court, the prosecutor and the defendant introduce expert witnesses.
The Supreme Court allowed the appeal by a majority of five to two, rejecting argument that expert witnesses would be discouraged from providing their services if they were liable to be sued for breach of duty.
While real courtroom trials do not play out this way, there is a certain amount of psychology at play in the interaction between attorneys and expert witnesses.
He offers three basic ways expert witnesses can work with attorneys:
If we are going to collaborate with the legal system by serving as expert witnesses, otolaryngologists should recognize that there are standards to guide our behavior.
Current American Medical Association policy on medical expert witnesses states that 'the physician should not allow himself to become an advocate or a partisan in the trial [inquest proceedings].
It became patently obvious that there was a dramatic need for a system that would enforce honesty and accountability among expert witnesses.
THE role and remit of expert witnesses have emerged in the 109-page judgement in the Bags case as issues that caught the attention of the judge, Mr Justice Morgan, writes Howard Wright.
Seisinger disclosed in discovery that his expert witnesses would be Dr.