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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Qualifying the Expert

To show that the witness is indeed an expert, a qualification inquiry, often called a voir dire, is conducted by the attorney for the party presenting the evidence.

 The witness will typically be questioned about the expert's:

  • Experience.
  • Education.
  • Training.
  • Publication history.
  • Previous testimony as an expert witness.

In the fields of forensic science, this questioning may also focus on:

  • Performance reviews.
  • Accreditation.
  • Proficiency testing.
  • Work in a supervisory capacity.
  • Previous time devoted to the type of testing/analysis at issue in the trial.
  • The type(s) of equipment or processes with which the expert works.
  • Professional honors and society memberships.

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