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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

An Expert Witness Overview: How the Process Works

A general understanding of the process may help alleviate some fears about the expert's role in the adversarial legal system.

  • Experts are allowed to render opinions about matters in legal proceedings because of their knowledge, training and experience.

  • Experts may be called on to assist in all phases of the investigation, preparation, discovery, and trial.

  • The expert transmits specialized information and knowledge to the fact finder. The expert will likely be questioned. Anticipation of cross-examination can facilitate a confident response.
  • Experts should prepare for cross-examination and frame a strategy for answering vulnerable areas.

  • Forensic experts must prepare thoroughly to testify.

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