Ensuring Admissibility of Your Work as an Expert Witness

Playing by the regulations of this legal game will help ensure the admissibility of your work. The goal is to convince people that your opinions are sound. Your investigations and overall work will help you to do just that. After you collect, review and study all the data about the technical elements of a case, perform the required tests, and follow necessary methodologies, you can form opinions that you can express in an expert report or in testimony.
What you do will help you technically and professionally come to the best opinions. How you do it will help ensure that your opinions are seen as ‘admissible’ and that they will be allowed to be heard in court.
Remember, you are on a playing field called ‘the law.’ You have to play by the rules in this game:
1.  You must be familiar with the facts in the case and the sequence of any events that happened.
2.  You must carefully document tests run, observations made, and measurements taken. contain all results, whether positive or negative.
3.  Any demonstrations you plan to use during testimony have to be substantially the same as the events in the case.
4.  Any materials you use in tests must be the same as were involved in the case.
5.  You must document all steps followed and methods used. Use industry literature and publications to show that the chosen tests or methods are recognized as authoritative in your field.
6.  Think About with your attorney whether to use and pay for an independent peer review of your analyses and work.
You very well might do strong investigative and preparatory work, but you are not an attorney so you will not know about all the legal elements of the lawyer’s case. occasionally you have to meet legal standards that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; explicitly ask your attorney about the standards for your particular jurisdiction so you can choose the tests you run. For example, Maryland, Rhode Island, or California may use different legal tests for insanity. As a psychologist, perhaps, you need that data so you can pose the right questions.
attorneys will use numerous tactics to raise objections about the validity and admissibility of you, your evidence, and your opinions. Anticipate the following possibilities:
*  You are not qualified by knowledge, skill, qualifications, training, or education in the scientific field needed for this case. In advance, prepare your explanation of why your background does indeed qualify you to offer opinions about the facts in this matter.
*  Your opinions did not flow from reliable facts or data. Again, be ready to show that the facts were reliable and that your opinions did reasonably flow from them.
*  You did not use reliable methods in your work. Prepare to cite examples from your field and its literature that show that you did.
*  You did not run enough tests or collect enough data to justify your conclusions quantitatively. Keep accurate notes and be prepared to show that you ran the tests and collected the data needed.
*  You haven’t used qualitatively relevant conclusions. Make sure the facts you rely on, and the opinions you suggest, are directly on point to the case.
*  You relied on hearsay to form your opinions. Ensure that any facts you use, whatever the source, is routinely relied on by experts in your field.

Judd Robbins has been an internationally recognized expert witness since 1986 in the US and in the UK. In 2010, his book “Expert Witness Training” was published by Presentation Dynamics. Robbins has advanced degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, has been an Information Systems manager and an Education Systems manager, and consults in both computer and legal issues. Learn more about Mr. Robbins and his Expert Witness Training materials at www.juddrobbins.com

Restaurant Expert Witness (http://www.RestaurantExpertWitness.com), Howard Cannon – Restaurant Expert Consultant – Hospitality Expert – Restaurant Litigation…
Video Rating: 0 / 5

More Expert Witness Articles

Be Sociable, Share!