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Expert Witness Chronicle

Expert Witness Chronicle Vol. 3 | Issue 1

By | Chronicle

The Expert Witness Validation Badge™

An Initiative Whose Time Has Come

There is no disputing the influence that expert witnesses have on litigation outcomes—this much we know for sure. Their expertise is often relied upon by the court in rendering decisions, weighing the opinions, methodology, and, indeed, the credibility of the competing expert witnesses involved for each party to the legal dispute. Considering what is at stake, it therefore behooves litigators to be exquisitely careful and circumspect in their expert witness retentions and due diligence practices. Perhaps, due to the competitive nature of expert witness work, human nature, or the lack of a universal, standardized credentialing body to track the credentials, background, or relevant employment experience of those who elect to participate in the judicial process as expert witnesses, there exists a reoccurrence of instances where some have been caught misrepresenting their license sure, academic credentials, certifications, and work history. In some instances, the circumstances are far more benign, yet still cause difficulties and considerable angst.

Expert Witness Chronicle

Expert Witness Chronicle Vol. 2 | Issue 2

By | Chronicle

No Expert? No Trial.

Daubert gets closer to becoming the summary judgment standard with another case hinging solely on expert testimony as the 7th Circuit vacates summary judgment and exclusion of Premises Liability Expert Witness testimony.

In an unfortunate case of negligence and premises liability arising out of an on-campus rape committed against one of the resident students of the Carthage College, the 7th Circuit vacated the summary judgment granted to the college based upon the exclusion of expert testimony by the district court.

The decision of the District Court to grant summary judgment to the Defendants was primarily based on the exclusion of the premises liability expert witness testimony and the consequent lack of evidence the Plaintiff had, to prove that a genuine issue existed to take the case to trial. On appeal, the admissibility of the expert testimony formed the sole reason for vacation of the summary judgment and the remand of the case.

Expert Witness Chronicle Vol. 2 | Issue 1

By | Chronicle

Motion to Exclude Granted

How to Avoid It and What to Do When It Happens

A Daubert motion is like Zeus’ thunderbolt – one of the most effective and devastating weapons in the armory of an attorney which can be used against an expert witness. When the Court pronounces, “Motion to exclude expert testimony is granted”, the pain is no less than being struck by lightning. “Did the Court just put an end to my career as an expert witness”, it’s natural to have this question clog your mind! Can I appeal my exclusion? Can I get a chance to rectify my position? It wasn’t even my fault – can I sue the attorney for failing to protect my testimony properly? These are the questions that can trouble any expert witness following exclusion. You can hope for an appellate court to overrule the exclusion, but if that doesn’t happen or till the time it happens, you need to prepare an answer as to why your testimony was excluded in a previous case and why you should not be disqualified /excluded in the next case for the same reason. If you can prepare a convincing answer to this question, you have nothing to worry about for all practical purposes!

Expert Witness Chronicle Vol. 1 | Issue 4

By | Chronicle

Testimony Prepared Solely For Litigation

Assessing the Fifth Prong of the Daubert Standard

The year was 1995. The Ninth Circuit had to rule upon Daubert vs. Merrel Dow Chemicals after the Supreme Court gave its decision on the most important case on expert witness testimony and remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals noted, “Federal judges ruling on the admissibility of expert scientific testimony face a far more complex and daunting task in a post-Daubert world than before.” – They called it a Brave New World!

Expert Witness Chronicle Vol.1 | Issue 2

By | Chronicle

Orthopedic Expert Witness Stands Vindicated Against
Retaining Law Firm and Aaos

Expert witnesses join profession-al associations and organizations looking to connect with their peers, who would help them learn, network, and grow. Most experts who are members of such associations will swear by the value it brings to their profes-sional stature. But at times, the very association can turn against you and can cause you great pain and suffering! Sadly, Dr. Steven Graboff’s association with the American Association of Ortho-pedic Surgeons (AAOS) turned into a bitter disciplinary proceed-ing and a court case that finally saw Dr. Graboff stand vindicated after two years of anguish.

Problems related to expert witness associations primarily arise in circumstances where one member is retained to testify against another in a professional malpractice case – and this is more so true with medical doc-tors. In spite of the large number of medical experts, it is never easy to find one who is willing to testify against another in the same area, locality, hospital or association.

Expert Witness Chronicle Vol. 1 | Issue 1

By | Chronicle

Is Your Science Right

PBS / Frontline Questions Common CSI Techniques used by Forensic Experts

$660, a 90-minute instruction video and 100 multiple-choice questions – that is all it took Leah Bar-tos to become a certified “Forensic Consultant” by the American College of Foren-sic Examiners Inter-national (ACFEI).

ACFEI calls itself the world’s largest professional association for forensic examiners and provides credentialing programs in the fields of accounting, consulting, disaster preparation, information security, investigation, medical investigation, nursing and physicians. The certification awarded to Leah Bartos, Certified Forensic Consultant, according to the ACFEI website, is intended to train forensic professionals in the law, educating individuals in the fine points of being competent and knowledgeable forensic consultants in the unique environment of the American judicial system.