Why undertake training?
Expert Witnesses in the public and private sector are coming under increasing pressure: clients expect more, the media’s watchful eye finds more to reveal. Newspapers, professional journals and news programmes appear to find the exploits of Experts to be irresistible. Increasingly judicial comment and individual criticism by judges is drawing an unwelcome spotlight onto the Expert. As well as having appropriate qualifications and experience in your professional field, it has long been considered vital that all experts undertake recognised Expert Witness Training.
New constraints and standards with which Experts have to comply are appearing in many jurisdictions and more are promised. Being an Expert Witness requires more than just being an Expert. Expertise is essential but learning how to use it in the legal arena is extremely important.
Academy Training strikes the right balance and helps both the experienced expert and the newcomer to learn how to ‘do it right’ in private before going into the public glare of the courtroom.
Part 6 of the Experts Code of Guidance maintains that solicitors should ensure that an expert has experience, expertise and “training appropriate to the value, complexity and importance of the case.”
Experienced solicitors will make an assessment of an expert’s knowledge. This may occur at any stage of the process, being most likely during the assessment leading to appointment and by Counsel during a trial. Experts who are well prepared are more likely to win work, and more likely to survive with their reputation intact.