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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Pitfalls of Selective Fact Gathering

In presenting facts and evidence to experts, attorneys and authorities may sometimes tell their story the way they wish it had been, rather than the way it actually occurred. Because a trial of a disputed matter in any forum is often the retelling of past events, accuracy in recitation is essential. If the expert does not get the facts and conclusions correct, the opposing party may.

The fact-gathering process must have a foundation of integrity and must be comprehensive for all those involved. The criminal justice and dispute resolution processes are jeopardized when experts, attorneys and others attempt to create biased results through selective fact gathering.

Attorneys have a responsibility to provide forensic experts with complete and accurate evidence and information about the case. The expert's responsibility is to ensure that the attorney provides complete and comprehensive information.

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