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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Rules for Experts

Almost every forum in which the expert testifies will have rules to guide him as an expert witness. Most reflective of current thinking on the subject are typically the Federal Rules of Evidence (See Appendix for more information), Rules 701 through 706.

The Federal Rules of Evidence characterize the rules in the federal courts, and they are similar to rules enacted by many state courts. The rules reflect case and common law decisions in many jurisdictions that have grappled with aspects of expert testimony.

 The Federal Rules of Evidence have been included because they exemplify the current mainstream of legal thought on evidence. However, evidence rules in the various states vary considerably and have been interpreted differently by many court decisions and opinions.

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