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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Ethical Conduct and Discovery

Photo of Lady Justice. Caption reads, 'Ethical Conduct and Discovery'
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Finally, the expert should be familiar with the rules of ethical conduct required of experts and attorneys. Experts must be in compliance with those rules at all times. Before the expert undertakes a role in the discovery process, he must know about the case. The expert should have at least enough information for a preliminary report and should have worked through the investigative process to that point before he can be of value in the discovery effort.

The expert should have done as much fact gathering, such as evidence testing, as is available to him from all sources but the opposing party. The expert who has followed his scientifically prescribed testing process correctly will be in a good position to render meaningful assistance at this stage of discovery.

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