An expert witness is
The primary function of an expert witness is to express his independent expert opinion based on the information that is provided. An expert can be employed in different capacities for example at arbitrations, tribunals, and litigation.
A witness is a person giving sworn evidence to a tribunal or court of law. There are basically two types of witness:
- Witnesses of Fact who may give evidence of fact but may not normally give opinions;
- Expert Witnesses who may give opinion evidence within their expertise and in addition evidence of facts.
Guidance for Expert Witnesses in England & Wales following the 76th Update to CPR
On 1st December 2014 as part of the 76th update to CPR the Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims will be removed from PD 35. On the same day the “Guidance for the instructions of experts in civil claims” came into force.
The following ‘Quick Guide’ contains the information that is necessary to allow you to comply from 1st December.
The ‘Guidance for the instruction of experts in civil claims’ replaces the ‘Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims’ which is currently annexed to Practice Direction 35. Although the bulk of its contents are the same there are differences in both the content and its order.
Summary of key points for Experts for immediate attention and compliance from 1st December 2014:
- Paragraph 25 – You must notify those instructing you if you identify the basis of your instruction differs from the other side’s expert.
- Paragraph 29 – You must ensure that any requests to the court for directions are by letter clearly marked “expert’s request for directions”.
- Paragraph 30 – You must ensure that you have access to all relevant information as soon after accepting instructions as possible and notify your instructing solicitors of any omissions.
- Expert’s Declaration: Following the change from a ‘Protocol’ to ‘the Guidance’ the Expert’s Declaration has been modified in points 12 & 13 to take account of this.
- If there is a sequential exchange of reports you must ensure that Paragraph 63 of the Guidance is followed as well as Paragraph 73 in relation to Experts’ discussions.
Discussions Between Experts (meetings of experts): There is now a requirement for a declaration to be included in the joint statement to comply with Paragraph 80 “The joint statement should include a brief re-statement that the experts recognise their duties (or a cross-reference to the relevant statements in their respective reports). The joint statement should also include an express statement that experts have not been instructed to avoid reaching agreement (or otherwise defer from doing so) on any matter within the experts’ competence.”
TAE has issued two new declarations:
- For use in Experts’ Reports
- For use in Joint Statements
The guidance can be downloaded from http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/guidance-for-the-instruction-of-experts-in-civil-claims/