Aug 9, 2019 by Foresight

When Can Evidence and Opinion of an Expert Witness be Challenged in Court?

When a solicitor instructs an expert witness in a case, their significance cannot be understated. The expert witness will often shine significant light on the pre-provided evidence, as well as producing their own from in-depth assessments, investigations and scrutinising the available material. Unsurprisingly, expert witnesses cover a vast array of specialised professions from CCTV analysis to every specific medical discipline.

For each, the years of training and practice dedicated to their profession allows the expert witness to produce a comprehensive report and give their expert opinion in court. In doing so, they may add substantial weight to a case and even help to determine an outcome that is fair and justified.

Foresight are providers of one of the most targeted networks of expert witnesses working at the highest levels of their field. When reputable witnesses are not used, the evidence and opinion of the expert may be challenged or even discarded by the court. We share under what circumstances this occurs so that your time will not be wasted, or your case lost at the hands of an “expert”.

The Expert Is Not Sufficiently “Expert”

The appointment of an expert witness has the ability to change the direction of a case and ensure the best outcome for a solicitor and their client. In order to assert such significance, they must have the credentials and qualifications required of an expert. Not only that, they must be a proven expert in the field that a case covers. For example, an urologist wouldn’t ever be asked to perform as a neurosurgeon, though each is a doctor in their own right. In order to reveal exceptional information within a case that may otherwise be missed, a sector specific expert is crucial.

Conclusions Based Upon Incomplete Analysis

Every aspect of the expert witness’s involvement should be recorded, documented, and revealed to the relevant court associates. At Foresight Clinical Services, we guarantee that a comprehensive and accurate report detailing the methodology that leads to the supported conclusion will be produced by the expert witness and delivered to the relevant people on time and on budget. An expert witness who has not had a thorough background check may not comply with this same high quality service.

Their methodology, techniques, and conclusions can be scrutinised and challenged if the court finds that the expert witness has performed an incomplete analysis and assessment of the evidence or of the individuals involved. Not only will the reliability of their results be impaired, their expert opinion and professional standing may be significantly damaged.

Material Falling Outside Expert’s Field of Expertise

The opinion of the expert witness must remain within their field of expertise. The expert witness is brought onto a case for their years of study, and clinical or practical experience in a highly specialised discipline which is relevant to the case. To comment or provide opinion on elements of the case that fall outside of their profession will be deemed as irrelevant by the court.

Conflict of Interest

An expert witness is appointed with an understanding that their involvement will be entirely objective and impartial thus allowing the court to respect the value of their expert opinion. Impartiality is imperative to accepting the opinion as credible. Where an expert witness has a personal interest in a case, or previous working or private relationship with the solicitor or their client, of which the court will be made aware, there is risk of bias. The presence of bias may be very detrimental to the case and certainly to the integrity of the expert opinion which might then be stripped of value.

Choosing The Right Expert For Your Case

With such potential weight resting on the opinion of the expert witness, it is essential that you have the best-suited and most qualified professional working on your case. It is a task which requires a lot of research and scheduling of meetings. Undoubtedly, your time will already be stretched and with the added pressure of finding the right expert witness, stress levels rise.
Foresight’s case managers are experts in providing the very best and most relevant expert witnesses saving you time and stress. Get in touch for a free consultation.



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