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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Contacting Opposing Parties

Rules of evidence allow opposing counsel to cross-examine the witness regarding any prior contact that occurred outside the courtroom, from depositions to phone calls and electronic mail (e-mail).

Therefore, the forensic witness should exercise care and caution regarding any contact or comments made to or with opposing counsel in depositions, outside the courtroom, in phone calls and by e-mail.

Any attorney may use a witness's statements obtained outside of court (e.g., even those unrelated to the instant case but having to do with the witness's prior experience or lack thereof, prior mistakes, bias, etc.) as impeachment material if and when it becomes appropriate. (FRE 607)

The best practice is for the forensic witness to avoid any unnecessary contact and communication with opposing counsel outside the formal legal forum.

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