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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Causes of Selective Fact Gathering

In the final analysis, there are four causes of selective fact gathering or selective fact presentation:  

  • Willful misrepresentation in an attempt to shade the expert's conclusions.
  • Willful selection of only the facts that support a conclusion that reflects one side of the controversy.
  • Selective presentation of facts and evidence to the expert, by the attorney or others, because in retelling the story, they have shaped the events as they hoped or wished they had occurred ("selective recollection").
  • Genuinely erroneous field, laboratory, clinical or investigative preparation that did not disclose salient evidence.

Selective fact gathering is contrary to the scientific method and every expert's good judgment. Such a process impedes the expert's ability to reach valid, supportable, professional and ethical conclusions.

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