expert witness, Timothy Dimoff, COVID-19, videoconference

Expert Witnesses Testify Via Videoconferencing [COVID-19]

The global coronavirus pandemic has and continues to have a profound effect on the way we do business, interact with others socially, and even how we conduct court cases, especially in the area of expert witnesses.   In the past, the preferred method for this type of testimony was to fly the experts in, prep them for a day or two, and have them testify. They were not considered to be “experts” until the judge and jury could see them, and each side could grill their credentials.   Since March, all of that has been tossed on its head. Depending on the state and case, expert witnesses have been eliminated or reduced for months. However, because there is no definitive end date to COVID-19 and many states are concerned about the escalating rates of this disease, remote appearances are taking shape, and judges are warming up to this way of testimony. Courts and Coronavirus During this time of COVID-19, U.S. federal and state courts are taking various measures, including restricting visitors to court buildings, canceling or deferring hearings, and conducting only essential matters face-to-face. One of the measures being adopted by courts to limit the risk of spreading the...

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expert witnesses, Timothy Dimoff

What Makes an Expert Witness Credible?

During legal proceedings, witnesses are often utilized to corroborate a story, provide insight into motive or provide professional expertise in a subject area. It is professional expertise that makes someone an expert witness. How credible or effective the expert becomes to the legal argument is directly related to proper documentation, and a clear well-written report. The Power of Opinion What an expert witness has that other witness do not have is the ability to share their opinion. If a witness is not declared or proven to be an “expert” witness then they are limited to first-person observation only (i.e. what they personally saw, heard etc.). However, to make their opinions count, expert witnesses must back up their words and insights with proof of their expertise. Documentation Must be Compelling It is essential to have a clear Curriculum Vitae (CV) accurately depicting the knowledge, skill, training, education and experience accumulated throughout a career. Just like a resume when interviewing for a job, the CV must be factual. The CV, however, is much more detailed and must encompass all areas of experience gained by the expert witness that relates to the matter at hand. This enables the CV to establish the...

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