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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Benefits of Pretrial Preparatory Meeting

Photo of a group of people meeting in a courtroom. Caption says, 'Benefits of a Pretrial Prepatory Meeting'
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

The expert may benefit from and contribute to the pretrial preparation process in a number of useful ways. A witness at a pretrial preparatory meeting:  

  • Can be shown the exhibits that may be introduced into evidence at the trial.
  • Can be consulted regarding the authenticity of documents.
  • Can give the attorney advice on whether certain demonstrative evidence will be helpful in conjunction with the witness's testimony.
  • May be able to help prepare the attorneys for the types of exhibits that may be shown to the witness during cross-examination.

In the absence of some privilege or regulation (such as attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product rule), discussions during witness preparation are discoverable by the other party. The witness may be deposed and questioned about private witness preparation. In other cases, witnesses may be questioned about pretrial preparation meetings at the trial.

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