Expert Witnesses in the Court Room

By: beyli

Expert witnesses are witnesses who are believed to have knowledge in a particular subject area

beyond that of the average person. Their knowledge is so advanced that others may officially and

legally rely upon the witness' specialized opinion about a piece of evidence or a fact within the

scope of their expertise. The knowledge of expert witnesses is acquired by virtue of education,

training, skill, or experience in a certain area.

Expert witnesses can also deliver expert evidence concerning facts from the domain of their

expertise. In some instances, the testimony of expert witnesses can be rebutted with a learned

treatise. A learned treatise is a text of some sort that is seen as being sufficiently authoritative in

its field to be admissible as evidence in a court. It is often viewed as being hearsay evidence.

Sometimes, in the event of a rebuttal or learned treatise, the professional reputation of an expert

witness can be harmed.

In most cases, experts are used for opinions relating to the severity of an injury, the degree of

insanity in a criminal case, the cause of failure in a machine or other device, the amount of

earnings that could be lost, the future costs of care due to an injury, and other things of that

nature. Expert witnesses can also be called to testify concerning scientific evidence.

Experts do not have to be called by the prosecution or defense. A judge is allowed to call an

expert witness in order to ensure that a certain fact or action is evaluated technically. This is

done in an effort to provide the court with complete knowledge of the fact or action it is judging.

The expertise brought in by a judge has the legal value of an acquisition of data. The testimony

of these experts is compared to the testimony of the experts brought in by the two parties.

Any expert witness has a large amount of responsibility, particularly in cases involving penal

trials. In the United States, the use of an expert witness is frequently criticized. The practice is

criticized because both sides will bring in experts to advocate differing opinions. Following this, it

is left up to a jury of ordinary individuals to decide which expert should be believed.

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