Types of Expert Witnesses and Why Having a Specialization is ImportantAmy Nutt
July 24, 2009 — 1,574 views
An expert witness is someone who works in a particular profession and they are considered an expert in their field. The lawyers who hire expert witnesses to testify for their side may ask a series of questions to determine if the expert witness is the best one for them. This individual must have more knowledge in their field than the average individual in order to be considered an expert. And that knowledge must be tested in order for them to become an expert witness.
Types of expert witnesses
There are two types of expert witnesses. They are the testifying experts and the non-testifying experts. The testifying expert is out in front of everyone to see and any documentation that they present to support the side they are testifying for will expose what they have said about the case. That is why expert witnesses are usually advised not to write on the documents because the other side can see what they have written. This could actually hurt the case if the witness has expressed any sort of personal opinion on those documents.
The second type of expert witness is the non-testifying expert witness. These are expert witnesses that are hired by one of the sides in the case to evaluate the case. For instance, a lawyer may hire a doctor to look over a malpractice suit to see if something was out of the usual when a certain procedure was performed. There may be causes in which a nurse practitioner may be called as well to evaluate documents in regards to a medical case.
The non-testifying expert is the individual who is protected. They are not usually discovered like those who must sit in front of the jury and the court and testify regarding a case. The non-testifying expert doesn’t have to be known, but the documentation that they participated in will be shown. Their name doesn’t have to be on that documentation. This is for their own privacy.
Having a specialization
It is important that an expert witness has a specialization. Although they may be involved in a particular profession, there may be an area of that profession that they specialize in. This is important when choosing an expert witness. It is important that the witness specializes in the area the lawyer needs help in. It is not enough to just work in that particular field. There is much more to it than that.
So now you know how an expert witness functions and what their purpose is. You can also see why it is an expert witness is chosen to testify. They are chosen because they specialize in a certain area that is of use to that particular party. They have an emphasis in that area compared to all of the other areas within their profession. This is very critical in a criminal case to make the case stronger.
The importance of expert witnesses
You can see that expert witnesses are very important to cases. Without them, there would be innocent people in prison and guilty ones running free. It is their testimony that can help determine whether or not an individual committed the crime. They can present evidence that supports one side or the other and that can make or break the case.
So now you know that when you see an expert witness testifying in a case that the defense or the prosecution means serious business. They have something that they believe will help determine innocence or guilt. They feel as if the evidence presented will strengthen their case. When both sides have an expert witness, it can become quite the show in the courtroom.
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