10/28/2022 - UK News: Partisan Experts Can be Disastrous Warns Judge

Supreme Court justice made it clear to expert witnesses that they must avoid the risk of taking sides and advocating for their instructing party. Lord Hamblen stated that cases where experts were admonished for being partisan by the court had occurred ‘far too often’ recently each time having a negative impact for those they speak for.

Hamblen said expert witnesses should give evidence in such a way that you would not know which side has instructed them.’There is nothing more fatal to the acceptability of an expert’s evidence than the questions of independence and impartiality,’ he stated. He added expert witnesses shoul refrain from becoming an advocate themselves.

‘It is counsel’s job to argue a case – that is not the role of an expert. If you give evidence in an argumentative manner that will undermine your independence. Never get into an argument with counsel however provoked you might be.’

The Supreme Court Justice added there had been misjudged instances where experts without proper and suitable expertise had stood as expert witnesses thinking that experience of speaking in court was enough.

His opinions were reinfoced by a panel of civil and crimiinal judges. Senior Master Fontaine stated there was a worry that witnesses losing their impartiality might cause relevant evidence to be left out of reports. She told experts to reject any attempts from solicitors to put the case more strongly saying: ‘Don’t allow your enthusiasm to assist your client to cross the threshold into an unacceptably partisan approach.'

Recorder Simon Jackson also expressed concern about experts being ‘paid by results’ which was not consistent with their duties to the court.

Honour Judge Sarah Munro warned against experts instructed in criminal courts from speaking in overly complicated language. She said: ‘Ensure the expert speaks to their audience. In my sphere that is a jury of 12 people, and an expert really needs to pare down what they are saying and make it very easy to understand – sometimes experts are inclined to show off their knowledge and complicate [matters] rather than helping the jury.’

What is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a person who has specialized knowledge or experience in a particular field. Experts are commonly hired by lawyers to provide testimony in court cases to help the judge and jury understand the facts and issues in dispute.

Typically, expert witnesses are used when the facts of a case are complex and require expertise beyond what a layperson might have. Expert witnesses are often used in cases involving complex scientific, technical, medical, or financial issues. Although experts are sometimes hired to testify for the defense or plaintiffs in civil cases, they usually testify on behalf of the court as a neutral party and are not affiliated with any particular side of the case.

Experts are often required to testify about their specific area of expertise in great detail, including the methodology and facts that form the basis of their opinions. Experts may also be subjected to cross-examination by opposing counsel, in which case experts must be prepared to defend their findings.

How To Hire An Expert Witness

You can hire an expert witness through your lawyer or advertise for one online. Experts can be paid hourly or through a retainer. In some cases, experts are hired on a contingency basis, where they are only paid if you win your case. Preparing a detailed budget for your expert witness expenses is an important task.

Expert witnesses can be expensive and need to be paid for the time spent conducting research and preparing their testimony. You can save money by hiring an expert witness on an hourly basis, hiring an expert that works on a contingency basis, and conducting initial research yourself.

You should also check references and enlist the help of your lawyer in finding the right expert. You can also search for experts through online directories, referrals from colleagues, and by posting an ad on expert witness websites.