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Expert Witness (Essay Sample)


The essay discussed about an expert witness and the processes of selecting the best expert witness.

An expert witness is a person who is considered to have outstanding skills in a certain field or subject. He uses his skills to represent a convicted person in a court of law. He may not be a direct witness to a crime for him to represent a prosecuted person. If an expert witness is to be present in a case, the rule of law offers an exemption against the clause that restricts use of personal opinion. This is on condition that the expert witness is to offer valid credentials validating his competency. The professional can offer an expert opinion on a case about evidence in a way that other people cannot. Qualifications are paramount for an expert witness to be accepted in a case proceeding.
Conducting a background check on an expert witness is vital before commencing a trial. A comprehensive background check on an expert witness may uncover some information which could discredit him during a trial. Such information may alter the outcome of a ruling. If the expert is deemed incompetent, the ruling may take a positive turn and favor the accused. Some of the information uncovered from a background investigation may bring to light forged credentials used by an expert. This means that his contributions in court can be nullified. In such an event, the expert could be charged with falsifying information and aligned in court. To avoid such setbacks during a trial, it is always advisable to conduct an investigation prior to a case proceeding.
Having credibility in the eyes of a judge and the jury is important to every expert witness. This can only be attained by having the right documentation or certificates showing that the expert in question is qualified. Credentials may include education certificates, awards or honorary recognitions, certificates, and a statement of working experience. Credentials show that an expert is licensed to perform in certain field. They can also show his level of experience by checking the period he has been active in duty. If the records indicate that he has been working for over 10 years, then his expert opinion will weigh on the court’s decision. Novice specialists may not have much experience in a field like seasoned veterans CITATION Law09 \l 1033 (Shopper, 2009). An expert witness who lacks good credentials may not be taken seriously during cases in court.
There are two reasons why a convicted person needs a witness. First, having an expert in a case increases the chances of attaining a positive outcome. This is because a defense at a legal perspective by an attorney may not be enough to win a case. This is more so if there are real evidences against a client. The evidence could be solid materials, and testimonies from witnesses who were actually there at the time of the crime. In such a scenario, the expert can offer his expert opinion from his personal experience which could sway the ruling of the case. Secondly, a prosecuted person may run out of finances to acquire the services of a highly acclaimed attorney. A Person may enter into a case without knowing how much it will cost him. An expert can help retain a case despite its lack of a proficient attorney.
It is not necessarily that an expert witness be a highly educated individual with a lot of certifications CITATION Jon13 \l 1033 (Mosley). He can be a lowly educated mechanic who has worked in a garage for over 10 years! His experience during his time in the profession is what will be taken into consideration during a proceeding. His testimony will be regarded as an expert’s opinion, and considered valuable in making the verdict of the accused. However, such a person should have referees that can profess to have known the person during hi...
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