Expert Witness: The Eligibility Criteria

Topics: Expert, Critical thinking, Expert witness Pages: 3 (1064 words) Published: October 6, 2010
Expert Witness
The expert witness is expected to have many criteria making him or her eligible to give their expert advice, opinion, or findings on a subject matter of which they have specialized knowledge better than that of the average person. The expert witness also needs to be relevant in the case, so having a doctor of child psychology wouldn’t be relevant giving an expert opinion on an insurance fraud case. Typically an expert witness is called in to aid the judge or jury to be better prepared and knowledgeable to understand the case and to ultimately reach a decision.   When discussing the term ‘Expert Witness’ it is a typical response to think of a doctor in field such as Psychology, but in reality, it may vary to experts in such fields as a garage mechanic who could give an expert opinion on why a certain car might have malfunctioned. The basic criterion an expert needs is advanced and recent knowledge of his specialized subject of study. Due to their recent hike in divorce cases, lawyers with a psychology background are often being seen in court giving their opinions on child custody. Considering there are many effects on the children before, after and during divorce and chills custody lawsuits, an expert witness’s opinion is of good use to a judge considering custody and visitation given to each of the parents. In each field of study, there are subfields, for example in the field of psychology, there are many subfields including criminal profiling, competence of a person in trial, abuse in adults and children (which divides again into sexual, physical, mental, and so on), divorce and child custody, etcetera.       An expert witness should, according to the advice given from Samuel G. Fredman, be prepared, provide your expert opinion, and reflect objectivity (1995). This would mean to be ready on giving your view on the subject, prove to the judge that you know the field well, possibly mention what you would do in this situation, and have a neutral...
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