Thursday, August 11, 2011

Searching for a Safe Expert

With the downturn in the economy, there are a few people finding their way into the expert pool with less than stellar qualifications. Some of these people have no education and little experience in their chosen field - and know little about how to present themselves and their evidence in court. Here's a cautionary tale from the BullsEye Blog: "Experts, unfortunately, are not always honest about their credentials, as numerous examples have recently proven.

A dramatic example in 2007 occurred when a New Orleans federal judge threw out a jury verdict in favor of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. after a cardiologist who testified for the defense in a Vioxx trial was found to have misrepresented his credentials.

In 2009, the expert witness for a suspended NASCAR driver was found to not have the medical degrees or certifications he claimed.

A year later, a Northampton County grand jury found fire investigator Edmund G. Knight III guilty of lying about his credentials. At the time, District Attorney John Morganelli said that Knight’s case was important because of the “integrity of our judicial system, particularly expert witnesses.”

As these cases prove, knowing how to verify the background of an expert – whether yours or your opponent’s – could prove critical to your case. What can you do to confirm the credentials of experts?

The internet has, in recent years, hosted a variety of resources and tools that contain potentially valuable information but that many attorneys overlook in researching an expert’s background. Of course, these tools are neither foolproof nor exhaustive.

Click here to read the whole article. Expert services for imaging, video, audio, and cell phone analysis can be found here.


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