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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Prior Writings and Testimony Contrary to the Case's Position

Before taking on an assignment, the expert should consider prior testimony tendered in trial or deposition. The expert should review all publications on the same or similar subjects as well, such as articles in books, technical journals and reviews.

The expert should compare the contemplated investigation, conclusion and testimony with the cross-examination effect that might occur if the expert has written or testified in a similar case that is contrary to the position being tendered. One of the major areas of deposition examination is to determine the extent of prior inconsistent writings or testimony by the expert. Opposing counsel will spend considerable hours and great effort in uncovering inconsistent prior testimony or writings, which can then be used to impeach or discredit the expert as a testifying witness.

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