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How to Improve the Quality of Expert Witness Testimony

Expert witness testimony is often crucial to enlightening a judge or jury of certain matters or removing confusion about a case or claim with numerous or confounding factors. There are several ways that improving the testimony may provide a better picture of the matter or increase the chances of success in either a criminal or civil case.

For both plaintiff and prosecution, improving the quality and ability to inspire confidence in the jury or judge in testimony is crucial. Having an expert that has an extensive background and well-versed in the subject matter is sometimes rare depending on the case and specific details. If the case comes across a complicated matter or something that is confusing to the average person, having a high-quality expert’s testimony is the most beneficial for the plaintiff’s legal team and any prosecution attempting to prove the guilt of a defendant. However, some of these situations call for hard work on the part of the lawyer as well.

Improvement through Prevention

Prevention of irresponsible or inaccurate testimony is crucial in keeping the expert credible. The confidence that a judge or jury places in the professional’s work and testing methods could make
or break a case from the beginning. If the expert recants previous details or is unable to ensure a low failure rate in testing evidence, this could disqualify the professional from any case or claim. Then, it is necessary to hire another expert to remove confusion, clarify evidence details and test certain items as the process necessitates. Preventing both disqualification and negative aspects of testimony are key for the lawyer.

Improvement through Peer Review

There are many situations where a program established to critique and review the testimony of an expert witness is possible through a group of peers. These are other experts or professionals in the same scientific community that review and analyze the details better to provide feedback which may increase the quality of the testimony. Some may communicate directly with the professional and seek to check his or her knowledge. This is possible by using false and inaccurate information to help determine how much the expert knows and how well he or she is at weeding out false data.

The Improvement through Discipline

It is vital that expert testimony has no bias, inaccurate information, incomplete details or unscientific data. In order to curb these tendencies for some experts is through disciplining them. This disciplinary action happens through expulsion from membership in organizations, a negative reputation or standing in a community and a future lack of inclusion in certain processes or testing methods. For some medical expert witnesses, the professional must join a society that may ensure better quality testimony and processes for either civil or criminal cases. This may increase the quality of words, opinions and reports for claims or cases involving injury or illegal acts.

Other Improvement Methods

Some testimony of an expert witness could stand preparations. By coaching with the lawyer, the professional may have the opportunity to increase the quality of his or her testimony in the courtroom. By knowing how to say certain things, the expert will often increase the confidence the judge or jury panel will place in the words the professional speaks. Having a grasp of the processes and full knowledge of the subject matter generally improves the quality of the testimony in usual circumstances.

Then, convincing the courtroom of the veracity of the results from testing is easier for the expert.

Other experts may provide a way to improve the testimony of the currently designated expert. By reviewing the material, the professional may have advice and tips on how to explain the details in a manner that captures the attention of the jury panel or judge. Another may explain that the appearance of the expert could improve the receptivity of the testimony. A consultant that works with the lawyer may also engage in the process and propose other tips that the lawyer and expert may not consider. This could include depth of tone, variations to the words and even pitch of the voice. These could improve quality without changing the testimony at all.

The Expert’s Task to Improve Testimony

Ultimately, the job of the expert is to ensure he or she manages quality testimony. By implementing certain tips and advice, the professional may improve the quality and ensure better chances for the lawyer and client. The expert’s testimony should stand against cross-examination and any attempts at manipulation.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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