Many of us are familiar courtroom dramas and films which, by and large, have create a throng of armchair forensic specialists. In the real world however, where the consequences of courtroom outcomes could literally mean life or death for an individual, it pays to have credible experts take the stand to lend their opinions.
It can therefore not be understated that expert witnesses play a significant role in modern day courtroom justice. Although eye witness testimony is still significant, it too can be overruled when pertinent, indisputable facts emerge due to the testimony of professional expert witnesses.
This means that the credentials of an expert witness, like a doctor, CSI expert or scientist are beyond important in the legal forums.
Why Expert Witness Credentials Matter
There are many reasons why one should take an expert witnesses background into account. For example, amateur or novice specialists will not have as much hands-on time in the field as a seasoned veteran. Although the greenhorn will possess some knowledge, there are certain things that can only be learned through time spent out in the field.
Other reasons why professional expert witnesses should have impeccable credentials include, but are not limited to:
– The ability to place evidence in perspective. Family members and defendants will be emotional during a trial. Some will have much at stake in regards to the outcome of the case. Expert witnesses with the proper certifications can take the emotional element out of the proceedings and present evidence in a clinical way. The more impressive the background of the expert, the more likely they will sway the opinions of decision makers who can make or break your case.
– They can set the bar for future court cases. Forensic pioneers and those who have devised ingenious new ways to test evidence, or paved the way for medical science to make the job of determining pertinent facts easier on lawmakers and jurors can affect the judicial process as a whole. DNA evidence is a case in point. Since its advent it has been used to secure convictions and release the innocent. Professionals in this realm can thereby help educate a jury and aid them in making informed, reasonable decisions.
– Expert witnesses are more prepared. Someone who is unfamiliar with the courtroom process or with the subject matter at hand will not appear confident or capable, two things that will sell their version of events to people who are trying to ascertain the facts. Experienced specialists will know how to present their arguments in a way that doesn’t alienate the jurors as well.
These considerations are extremely important when trying to select professional expert witnesses who can potentially strengthen your case.
Defining the Reliability of an Expert Witness
An expert witness should, by their education, reputation and skill level, be able to lend a qualifying voice to courtroom proceedings that helps juror make informed decisions. They should also deliver their opinions in a concise way that won’t lose the interest of those who are trying to make sense of the information provided.
This makes the role of the expert witness invaluable, which is why, when it comes to your court case, the credentials of the expert witnesses should be the first thing you look at before selecting someone to represent you or a client in court.