The testimony of expert witnesses to inform courtroom decisions is critical if intelligent and just verdicts are to be reached. Few judges, jurors or lay witnesses possess the necessary knowledge to adequately understand the complexities of human behaviour as they relate to acts of interpersonal violence. While lay witnesses can testify to actual incidents or observations, it is the expert witness who can provide forensic significance to such evidence. This volume clearly defines the need for and role of expert witnesses in litigation. The author demystifies the process, and provides practical guidance on preparing and presenting expert testimony. In so doing, he will assist courts to more accurately assess and weigh eviden
Chapter 1: The Need for Expert Testimony
The Need for Expert Testimony
What we choose to believe depends on whom we rely upon as our teachers.
Increasingly in U.S. society we require our human conflicts to be resolved in courtrooms. However, those entrusted with making the decisions affecting these conflicts often lack the knowledge base to make informed or sophisticated decisions. They generally must be provided with information that interprets the evidence presented to them and that explains human behavior so that they will be better able to reach appropriate resolutions. Those who are called upon to so educate the decision makers are expert witnesses.
The quality of the decisions made by judges and jurors is largely dependent upon the quality of the ...