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It may be detrimental to an expert witness's credibility if even the appearance of a lack of independence exists. In today's legal environment, discrediting an expert based on his or her relationship with counsel, the client or the judge is common. Let's examine how to identify an expert's independence.
The employ of expert witnesses in litigation is typically undertaken to help the decider of fact (judge or jury) decipher an area of specialized knowledge which is key to the case. The expert report serves the primary purpose of "educating" deciders of fact on topics not commonly known to the general public. However, a noncomplying expert report can wreak havoc on a case, increase costs or worse, have the expert's testimony precluded in whole or part from use at trial. This of course is contrary to the purpose of retaining an expert in the first place. Understanding the parameters of compliance (C.R.C.P. 26 (a) (2) (B) (I)) and how sanctions for non-compliance (C.R.C.P. 37 (c) (1)) may be applied is important not only for legal counsel but the expert as well under the 2015 rule updates and the recent Colorado Supreme Court case, Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado v. Earl Swensson Associates, Inc.
The working relationship between the attorney and their expert witness in a case can be more effective if a few simple guidelines are followed. These are common sense things but one or more can be overlooked in the frequent day-to-day rush that busy attorneys face. When that happens some of the potential contributions from the expert may be compromised or lost to the detriment of the attorney's client.
A recent case addressed the interesting question of whether a corporation could serve as an expert witness. The matter involved a breach of fiduciary duty case coordinated with an appraisal proceeding, in re Dole Food Company ("Dole"). The defendants designated Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated ("Stifel"), a corporation, to serve as their expert witness regarding the value of Dole.
At first blush you may think that this article is about a small, albeit ugly armored animal and you would be justified in doing so. After all, the name Armadillo Partners conjures up a mental image of a corporate holding of armadillos, presumably for sale. Such would not be the case however. In fact, this article is about an arbor area and trees located at a shopping center called Armadillo Square in Broward County, Florida.
According to a new national survey, there has been a sharp drop in the percentage of America's children being physically bullied or beaten up by their peers.
I review all the depositions and documents taking reference to techniques, procedures, and timelines from the perspective of the neutral observer at the time of the event.
Assigning fault and responsibility in a lawsuit involving a school is rarely clear cut.
Eyewitnesses to the event may only tell what they saw, heard, felt or smelled; they are not allowed to tell what others have said (hearsay) or say what they think of the case.
Think you have that winning expert witness in your back pocket? Think again. The 6th Circuit has recently released an opinion that reminds experts and attorneys to use extreme caution: That ace-in-the-hole, hired-gun expert witness might just backfire if you're not careful.