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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Expert Must Stay Within the Confines of Expertise

The testifying expert has a responsibility to stay within the confines of the discipline in which the expert is testifying. Many professional organizations (such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the International Association for Identification, and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors) have codes of ethics to which members are expected to adhere. These codes of ethics usually include the following obligations:

  • Testifying in clear and understandable language.
  • Not overstating conclusions or misleading the finder of fact.
  • Answering only the questions that are asked.

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