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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert


The expert should treat opposing counsel courteously, no matter how abusive or aggressive the attorney might become. The expert should never engage in a one-upmanship discourse with opposing counsel.

To point out that opposing counsel does not understand the testimony or the scientific field results in the expert appearing arrogant and adversarial. Such a demeanor is certain to antagonize. Expertise should be evident without being overstated.

Understanding and asserting your rights as an expert witness requires constant attention to detail. Maintaining a professional, polite and calm demeanor will produce better results during overly aggressive examinations. Know your rights. Be ready to assert your rights but do not "shoot from the hip"; assess the situation and the consequences of your actions.

Understanding your rights, and knowing how to preserve and protect those rights, helps create a better mindset with which to develop your strategy, apply the appropriate techniques, and avoid repercussions when confronting abusive, improper or inappropriate conduct.

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