- Subject index
This expanded and updated Second Edition of Legal Issues in Child Abuse and Neglect Practice offers a state-of-the-art exploration of what role the law can play in bettering the lives of victimized children. While all who work with abused children share the same goals, there often exists a gap in communication between legal and helping professionals that reduces efficacy of cooperative efforts. This new edition continues to provide vital information to non-lawyers on how the legal system in the United States works in child abuse cases.
Chapter 7: Expert Testimony
Child abuse is often very difficult to prove in court. Abuse occurs in secret, and the child is usually the only eyewitness. Although many children are excellent witnesses, some are too young to testify, and others are ineffective on the witness stand. Because evidence of abuse is difficult to come by, expert testimony plays an important role in some child abuse litigation. This chapter describes the scope and limits of expert testimony.
Experts testify in criminal court, juvenile court, family court, and other legal arenas. In many criminal cases, there is a jury. Juries are not universal in criminal court, however, and when there is no jury, the judge fulfills the fact-finding responsibility normally entrusted to jurors. In juvenile and family court cases, ...