Like any form of regulation or standard setting, it is best to manage from within the industries that know their inherent issues best.
The Validation Badge initiative has been carefully crafted taking into account the views of Committee members who have deep roots within both the expert witness and attorney communities. The aim is to implement these badges with widespread cross-industry support and to do so in the most efficient and cost-effective manner made possible by modern methods and technology. We invite you to read and consider the background and full rationale behind the initiative below. Meet your industry peers who grappled with these issues and unanimously recommended that these criteria and methodologies be adopted by the Exchange.
The Expert Witness Validation Committee will recommend the credentials and background items to be verified and reviewed along with the criteria for approval or denial of a Validation Badge. The Expert Witness Exchange, LLC will issue a Validation Badge if the criteria for approval are met.
The Validation Badge will substantially minimize the credentialing and background verification risks which the Validation Badge addresses at no added cost or work to litigants and their legal counsel. A provision will be made for interim license and certification updating requests received from counsel and/or a Validation Badge recipient in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The Validation Badge fills a void in the expert witness marketplace which should not have to function on caveat emptor; relying upon retaining counsel to undertake such due diligence utilizing their own resources has proven unrealistic. Limited to the criteria which are verified and reviewed, the Validation Badge is focused on assuring that the expert witness is a reliable and valid participant in the judicial process.
It is properly left to the Court to exercise its traditional gatekeeping role in determining the admissibility of expert testimony based upon an assessment of the methodology which the expert employs and/or the general acceptance of his/her analytical approach to the subject matter involved.
The Expert Witness Validation Committee serves only as an advisory committee to a private, for-profit entity known as the The Expert Witness Exchange, LLC, a Delaware corporation. The The Expert Witness Exchange, LLC is solely responsible for implementation of the adopted criteria and procedures set forth in the Validation Committee Charter, issuing or denying Validation Badges, and maintaining a Validation Registry. In support of the Validation Badge initiative, the The Expert Witness Exchange, LLC may form alliances and collaborations with industry association participants from both the expert witness and attorney communities at large.
“Among the many burdens that attorneys face throughout the process of litigation, expert witness credential and background verification is often overlooked.”
Far-reaching court decisions and litigation case outcomes are substantially influenced by the testimony of expert witnesses from various fields of endeavor. Court systems rely on expert witnesses to bring to bear their expertise in both an objective and intellectually methodical manner, regardless of which side retained them. Perhaps due to the competitive nature of expert witness work, human nature, or the lack of a universal, standardized credentialing body overseeing who has the credentials, background, or experience to be offering such critically important opinion- based evidence, there exists a reoccurrence of instances where experts have been caught misrepresenting their licensure, academic credentials, or work history. In some instances, the circumstances may be more benign yet still troublesome. For example, licenses and certifications may have been surrendered or allowed to lapse and even when the expert witness is aware, it may not deem a material matter to bring to the attention of retaining counsel. For retaining lawyers who are unaware of such misrepresentations, non disclosures, or other damaging aspects of an expert’s personal history, this may cause significant angst. Such revelations may impact client relations and negatively influence case outcomes. A further unwelcome consequence may be the prospect of exposing legal counsel and their insurer to a professional liability claim premised upon the failure to retain a qualified expert witness.
Among the many burdens that attorneys face throughout the process of litigation, expert witness credential and background verification is often overlooked. This is unfortunate as the consequences of not verifying expert witness credentials and background may be devastating in all forms of litigation, presenting opposing attorneys with a set of circumstances that can often be leveraged in such a way as to all but guarantee a winning outcome or more favorable settlement than would otherwise have occurred. These sorts of occurrences have led to disruptions of trial schedules resulting in requests for continuances of trials and indeed the filing of appeals where matters had already gone to judgment based upon after-acquired evidence of expert witness impropriety.
An expert witness’ misrepresentation of credentials, deliberate or otherwise, is clearly harmful to our adversarial system of justice, in that it adversely impacts the interests of the parties involved and erodes confidence in the system itself.