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Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

21. The Potential Roles of Experts  

In conducting civil litigation, expert evidence may be required to assist the lawyer in understanding the circumstances of the case, identifying a potential cause of action, evaluating the case and the potential remedies, understanding expert evidence provided for another party, and identifying weaknesses in their case. This chapter first considers the roles of experts in civil litigation. Experts can be involved in capacities such as conducting early neutral evaluation, decision-making, negotiation or mediation, as a witness in court, or as an assessor. When searching for an appropriate expert, lawyers can turn to relevant professional associations for guidance; and some professions also provide support to members who work as professional experts. The remainder of the chapter discusses the procedure for admitting expert evidence in litigation; the requirements for an expert report; and the contents and review of expert reports.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

20. Experts and opinion evidence  

This chapter discusses the law on experts and opinion evidence. As a general rule, opinion evidence is inadmissible: a witness may only speak of facts that he personally perceived, not of inferences drawn from those facts. However, there are two exceptions to this general rule: (i) an appropriately qualified expert may state his opinion on a matter calling for the expertise that he possesses; and (ii) a non-expert witness may state his opinion on a matter not calling for any particular expertise as a way of conveying the facts that he personally perceived. Experts may also give evidence of fact based on their expertise. The chapter covers the duties of experts and the rules which apply where parties propose to call expert evidence.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Evidence

8. Opinion evidence  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and diagrams and flow charts. This chapter explores an area of evidence law dominated by expert witness evidence and the extent to which flawed testimony leads to miscarriages of justice. Expert evidence is now commonplace in criminal and civil trials, and the courts and Parliament have developed procedures to ensure that it is of high quality. These are an eclectic mix of common law and statute and their development reflects the importance of scientific expertise. It is necessary to be familiar with the differences between expert and non-expert opinion evidence and on when and in what circumstances both types are admissible and questions that can be asked of the expert whilst giving evidence. The approach depends on whether the question relates to civil or criminal trials

Chapter

Cover Evidence

12. Expert Evidence  

Chapter 12 deals with expert evidence. It discusses the principles governing the admissibility of expert opinion evidence; use of the work of others and the rule against hearsay; expert witnesses; ‘battles of experts’ and the presentation of expert evidence; and disclosure and evaluation of expert evidence.

Book

Cover Evidence

Roderick Munday

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. Written by leading academics and renowned for their clarity, these concise texts explain the intellectual challenges of each area of the law. Evidence provides students with a succinct yet thought-provoking introduction to all of the key areas covered on undergraduate law of evidence courses. Vibrant and engaging, the book sets out to demystify a traditionally intimidating area of law. Probing analysis of the issues, both historical and current, ensures that the text contains a thorough exploration of the ‘core’ of the subject. The book covers: the relevance and admissibility of evidence; presumptions and the burden of proof; witnesses: competence, compellability and various privileges; the course of the trial; witnesses’ previous consistent statements and the remnants of the rule against narrative; character and credibility; evidence of the defendant’s bad character; the opinion rule and the presentation of expert evidence; the rule against hearsay; confessions; drawing adverse inferences from a defendant’s omissions, lies or false alibis; and identification evidence. A clearly structured introduction, this is the ideal text for any student who may find evidence a somewhat forbidding subject.