expert witness | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Evidence Law

An expert witness is someone with specialized knowledge or experience in a particular field who is called upon to provide testimony in a legal proceeding.

An expert witness can be a key figure in a trial or hearing, as they can provide valuable information and testimony that can help establish or refute a case’s facts.

Expert witnesses can come from various fields, including science, medicine, engineering, and finance. They may be called upon to provide testimony in various legal proceedings, including criminal trials, civil lawsuits, and administrative proceedings.

The role of an expert witness is to provide an unbiased and impartial assessment of the facts in a case and to explain technical or complex information in a way that is understandable to the judge, jury, or another fact-finder. Expert witnesses are also responsible for providing an objective and impartial evaluation of the evidence in question. They also refrain from expressing their own opinion unless it’s germane to the case.

The use of expert witnesses is subject to the rules of evidence and the discretion of the judge. Both the prosecution and the defense usually question them to test the weight and reliability of their testimony.

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Last Modified: 01/10/2023


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