The Proper Care and Feeding of Experts


There's usually a moment in a trial, just before the first expert testifies, when the judge tells the jury how experts are different from other witnesses. Experts don't have percipient, first-hand knowledge of the facts. Instead, they possess education, training, or experience that permits them to share helpful opinions with the jury. Such an instruction sounds like build-up. But based on what we hear from jurors once a case is over, that build-up is usually a prelude to disappointment. Maybe it's like when somebody introduces you to new people and tells them how funny you are. Your new friends stare at you, awaiting a thunderous witticism. They expect Oscar Wilde -- or at least Adam Carolla. But you stammer and come up with zero chuckle-bait. You're not only not funny, you're guilty of false advertising.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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