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Key Objections to Challenge Opposing Party’s Expert Witness

When an expert witness has an involvement in a court case, the opposing legal team may need to challenge his or her testimony or qualifications to either remove him or her or to ensure that he or she should remain on the case. However, there are certain key objections that the opposing legal team may raise during the interview process.

Objections in the expert’s deposition are important to the testimony that a professional may provide in the courtroom. The objections, as well as both any scientific and technical additions in sworn testimony, are items the opposing lawyer may use against the expert witness in the trial. Many of these could disqualify the expert before he or she becomes a designated expert witness for the case. Other times, the lawyer could use his or her objections later to discredit what the expert presents. This could also make the legal team look bad with the judge or jury.

Factual Information

The expert witness must use factual details, data and information to base his or her opinion with the evidence. The foundation for a conclusion based on the expert’s opinions requires a factual basis. Without the facts involved so intimately, the professional may propose
an opinion without any connection to the relevant source material of the subject in the courtroom. Then, any witness could express the same opinion without any educational background or expertise in the subject. The focus of what the expert explains in the courtroom requires a more focused relevance to the facts or an explanation of confusing issues regarding the evidence or scene.

The Scope of the Expert

Sometimes, a lawyer will ask questions that are outside the scope of the knowledge or tasks of an expert witness. These may involve either of the lawyers targeting the expert to give feedback, an opinion or testimony bearing no relevance to the background or testing that the professional would perform or knows. If he or she has an educational history in economics, something outside the scope in questions may happen through asking him or her about the weather. While he or she may have an opinion about such matters, this line of questioning is out of the scope and could lead to a challenge.

Contradictions in Testimony

If the expert witness provides testimony about a particular matter and then later contradicts what he or she said previously, an objection to his or her knowledge may happen. This may challenge the opposing expert witness’ involvement in the case. Any retraction to facts or testing with evidence could cause a severe impact on the case. The other legal team may pose a challenge against the relevance or reliability of the expert when he or she appears to lack the necessary qualifications to remain a designated expert witness. If the challenge succeeds, the expert may no longer remain on the case as an expert witness.

Testing Methods

If the expert witness does not use peer evaluated and approved testing methods, the opposing legal counsel may challenge the veracity and reliability of the process. This may lead to a Daubert challenge that disqualifies the expert within the claim or case so that he or she may not present admissible testimony. With a successful challenge, the expert may become a consultant, but this costs the lawyer and legal team time that is necessary for other tasks. To remain within the case, the expert may need to ensure there is a reason to deviate from the standard testing methods based on the evidence with reliable results based on an
error rate.

Expert’s Testimony Objections

The expert may lose credibility when presenting testimony based on certain issues. If the professional does not remain consistent with findings and knowledge, he or she may expose a problem. The testimony must remain unbiased without any misleading details or prejudicial problems within the statements. No part of the testimony should have confusing components for the judge or jury panel. One of the tasks of the expert is to remove confusion, and causing further misunderstandings is a serious issue. The testimony should not become a cause for arguments but provide the courtroom with a clear understanding and knowledge about something that needs clarification.

If the expert witness is not able to pass through the key objections to his or her presence or testimony, he or she may lose the challenge with the opposing legal counsel. Then, he or she may face disqualification as an expert witness for the case.

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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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