Chapter 8 : The Analytical Process

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This chapter emphasizes that the client-attorneys should specify the facts to which an individual has to testify. Overenthusiastic attorneys may try to push the individual to extend his/her testimony beyond his limitations. It is extremely important for the expert to approach an assignment with a neutral frame of mind. He must not have any emotional feelings about the case or any preformed opinions. The legal principles involved in the case should be discussed with the client-attorney before providing an initial opinion. These should include culpability, fault, and negligence. It is essential to maintain objectivity and to consider factual information that supports the individual's forming opinion as well as those that may contradict the client-attorney's theory. One way to begin reviewing the case is to write down all pertinent facts supporting the client-attorney’s position and then all material that would contradict that position. One should become very familiar with the latter because opposing council will either question the individual about those details or will ask if the individual had encountered contradictory information. Familiarization with the contradictory material will enhance the individual's credibility as a nonprejudicial witness. Client-attorneys may not understand the relevance of some material, and the individual should make an effort to explain the significance of such material to the client-attorney.

Citation: Ellner P. 2006. The Analytical Process, p 25-27. In The Biomedical Scientist as Expert Witness. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816520.ch8
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