The Role of Expert Witnesses

What is an Expert Witness?

Also known as a professional witness, an expert witness is an expert, who by reason of his training, education, skill, or experience, is known to have specialised knowledge in a particular field, setting him above the average person which may be sufficient enough that other people may rely on his opinion about a particular fact or issue within his scope of expertise.

The opinion on such fact or issue, when given by a professional witness, is known as an expert opinion.

An expert witness is employed by a lawyer on behalf of the client to illuminate relatively complex issues that were brought to the court’s attention.

When to Employ an Expert Witness

In most instances, expert witnesses are relied on cases imbued with severity. These cases include lawsuits on severe injuries, determination of the degree of insanity, failure of a machine or other device, and loss of earnings. Lawsuits on intellectual property may call upon expert witnesses to determine if there was really any infringement on trademark,patent, or copyright.

There are also instances that the judge himself or herself will call upon the assistance of an expert witness to evaluate the soundness of a certain action or for the judge to acquire more knowledge on the matter under his or her review.

If you are involved or interested in a particular case, you may call upon an expert witness in the field relevant to the subject matter.

Role of an Expert Witness

Under the 1998 Rules of Civil Procedure (CPR), an expert witness must be independent and must address his or her expert report to the court having jurisdiction over the case.

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For more information on:

  • Update on the Role of an Expert Witness